The 2022 Triple Crown season ended on Saturday with Mo Donegal taking first place in the Belmont Stakes.
His stablemate Nest came second, followed by Skippylongstocking in third. 2022 Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike returned to competition for the first time since upsetting the field at Churchill Downs and finishing sixth.
Mo Donegal entered Saturday’s race at 5-2 odds, making him the favorite among the eight.
He stayed in the middle of a tight field for much of the race, but defended the inside rail under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. This put him in position to step into the final corner, charging in the first place and not looking back.
Nest followed Mo Donegal, overtaking We the People and Skippylongstocking on the home stretch.
Rich Strike, who won the first Triple Crown jewel at odds of 80 to 1, entered Saturday’s race as an established contender. He hung up near the back before coming back up the last half mile, but he was unable to repeat his Derby exploits.
The backgrounds of the first two have long been linked, dating back to when they were bred at the Colts Neck Stables. Mo Donegal and Nest also share a trainer – Todd Pletcher – who earned his fourth Belmont Stakes victory. Pletcher also has two Kentucky Derby victories under his belt (2010, 2017).