ELMONT, NY - JUNE 09: Union Rags ridden by John Velasquez wins the 144th running of the Belmont Stakes with Paynter, Ridden by Mike Smith running second and Atigun ridden by Julien Leparoux finished third at Belmont Park on June 9, 2012 in Elmont, New York. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

2012 Belmont Stakes: Union Rags Gets Late Victory

For another year, there wasn't a Triple Crown, as Union Rags took the win in the Belmont Stakes after I'll Have Another had to drop out.

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Belmont Stakes 2012 Results: Union Rags Steals The Win

The 144th running of the Belmont Stakes is now in the books, with Paynter falling just short of a wire-to-wire victory after being nipped in the final seconds by Union Rags. Paynter had taken the lead early in the race as most expected and led the pack through to the final stretch, which wasn't as expected.

Most thought that Paynter would give way much sooner than that, but the horse didn't, keeping neck-and-neck with Unstoppable U through to the second half. Unstoppable U fell behind, though, and Atigun began pushing, but the show was quickly about Paynter and Union Rags. The second half of the final stretch was an all-out battle between Paynter and Union Rags, with the latter taking the win right at the very end.

Unstoppable U fell behind slightly and Atigun rounded out the top three. Race favorite, Dullahan, was seven lengths behind and second-to-last coming into the final stretch, which was severely disappointing. Dullahan was the favorite since I'll Have Another pulled out of the race and eventually retired, dashing the Triple Crown hopes.

Stick with this storystream from SB Nation Detroit for updates, results and more from the 2012 Belmont Stakes. For full-time horse racing news and analysis, head over to SB Nation horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come.


2012 Preakness Winner: I'll Have Another Continues Bid For Triple Crown With Thrilling Win

The 137th running of the Preakness Stakes is under wraps, with I'll Have Another taking home the victory. The entire racing world imploded on itself when I'll Have Another made another burst at the end of the race, reminiscent of its victory in the 2012 Kentucky Derby, when it passed up Bodemeister near the final legs to steal the win.

And it happened yet again for I'll Have Another. Bodemeister was the horse in the lead when I'll Have Another closed in and stole the finish, to the surprise of many, but what will surely be looked on in hindsight as expected. I'll Have Another just validated the rest of the racing season by furthering its bid for the Triple Crown. All eyes will be on Belmont.

Prior to the start of the race, the final odds had Tiger Walk up at 19-1 and Bodemeister down at 2-1, No. 7, but Bodemeister was still the favorite to take it all, with I'll Have Another slightly less-favored at 3-1.

For more in-depth coverage on the 2012 Preakness, be sure to check out And Down The Stretch They Come and join the discussion.


2012 Kentucky Derby Results: I'll Have Another Begins Pursuit Of Triple Crown Following Victory

I'll Have Another has won the 138th Kentucky Derby following a showdown with Bodemeister down the stretch on Saturday afternoon. The Kentucky-bred horse brought the first victory for jockey Mario Gutierrez and trainer Doug O'Neill. Reddam Racing owns the horse.

Bodemeister and Trinniberg dueled for most of the race, but I'll Have Another emerged from seventh place and caught up with Bodemeister by the start of the final 100 yards. Dullahan also made a late charge, but I'll Have Another was able to separate from the pack and pick up the victory.

Here are the top three finishers:

WIN: I'll Have Another
PLACE: Bodemeister
SHOW: Dullahan

This will now set up for an interesting showdown between I'll Have Another and Bodemeister in two weeks at the Preakness Stakes. Will I'll Have Another move closer to becoming the first horse in 34 years to win the Triple Crown of horse racing?

For more on the world of horse racing, head to And Down The Stretch They Come. For more on the 2012 Kentucky Derby, keep it locked to this StoryStream.

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