Belmont Stakes 2021 results: Essential Quality wins the race

The horse was the first betting favorite to win the 1.5 mile race and finished ahead of Hot Rod Charlie and 146th Preakness Stakes winner Rombauer, who finished second and third respectively.

Hot Rod Charlie was the first leader, but Essential Quality passed him on the last corner and held on to win. The victory gave coach Brad Cox his first triple crown victory.

A limited crowd of 11,000 were allowed to attend the “Champion’s Test” with proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test required for entry.

Jockey Luis Saez reacts after winning the 153rd edition of the Belmont Stakes at the top of Essential Quality on Saturday 5th June.
This year’s race did not include Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit after the horse failed a post-Derby drug test. In May, the New York Racing Association temporarily suspended Medina Spirit trainer Bob Baffert from entering horses for races on the track that hosts the Belmont Stakes.
Baffert was suspended from the Kentucky Derby home for two years after the drug was confirmed positive after the Medina Spirit race, the company that runs the Louisville racetrack said on Wednesday.

This Belmont Stakes was a return to normal after last year, when for the first time in history the race was the Triple Crown’s first stop after the Covid-19 pandemic upended the schedule. The race is normally the third and final stage of the Triple Crown.

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