If you had bet on the top four finishers (superfecta) in the order they crossed the finish line, you could have taken home more $70,000 for a $2 bet. That’s because today’s Belmont Stakes was a race where betting the long shots paid off.
The winner, Ruler on Ice, paid 24-1; Stay Thirsty paid 16-1; and Brilliant Speed paid 10-1. Nehro, who was highly touted for all three races finished fourth.
In retrospect, Ruler on Ice’s win shouldn’t have been a total surprise. He broke his maiden on a sloppy track and his breeding is impeccable. His grandsire is Fusaichi Pegasus, the 2000 Derby winner, and his great grandsire is Mr. Prospector, one of the best sires of all time. Compared to the favorites he was also well rested. Ruler on Ice didn’t qualify to race in the Derby and didn’t run in the Preakness.
After breaking well, he shadowed Preakness winner Shackleford to a fast pace but when Shackleford faded, Ruler On Ice just kept rolling. Shackleford faded to fifth, just beating out Animal Kingdom who finished sixth.
Animal Kingdom had a terrible start. He was cut off out of the gate by Mucho Macho Man and clipped hooves with Monzon. John Velazquez lost his left stirrup and almost went over the colt’s head. Somehow he stayed on but it took him a considerable time to find his stirrup, leaving him and Animal Kingdom dead last and 15 lengths behind the leaders.
To his credit, the colt made a gallant run but there was just too much ground to make up. Still, with only his third start on dirt, Animal Kingdom is still a horse to be reckoned with.