Summer Bird, Kent Desormeaux win 2009 Belmont Stakes

In an impressive upset, 11/1 long shot Summer Bird seemingly came out of nowhere to win the 2009 Belmont Stakes today at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

Favorite Mine That Bird started off in the back of the pack and even was in last for a short portion of the race. But he made a steady push to the front by finding an opening along the rail and then down the stretch it looked like he was going to win.

But jockey Calvin Borel, who was going for his own version of the Triple Crown after winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, “opened up” Mine That Bird too soon. Mine That Bird couldn’t finish the final push and wound up in third behind Dunkirk.

Had Borel waited a touch longer to turn Mine That Bird loose, maybe he would have been victorious. But obviously it’s a judgment call for the jockey and it’s hard to criticize Borel after all the success he’s had this season, although some of the commentators were opening questioning his tactics after the race.

For much of the race, Summer Bird wasn’t in the top four as he waded in the middle of the pack. But down the final stretch, he found some open ground and blazed past Mine That Bird, Dunkirk and Charitable Man to claim victory.

It was a sweet win for jockey Kent Desormeaux, who rode Real Quiet to victory in both the 1998 Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. But he lost his bid to win horse racing’s Triple Crown when Victory Gallop beat Real Quiet by a nose in the final stride of the Belmont. Desormeaux also rode Big Brown to victory at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness last year, but once again lost at the Belmont.

After being criticized for “opening up” Real Quiet too soon at the Belmont in 1998, the win today was sweet justice for Desormeaux. Now Borel will be the one questioned for being too anxious with Mine That Bird.

Congrats to Summer Bird; I’m sure he screwed over bettors over everywhere.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Related Posts