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.