At odds of 16-1, Grade 1 Arkansas Derby winner Creator became the first horse to win the Belmont Stakes from post position 13. The margin of victory matched the smallest in Belmont history.
Destin was a stubborn second, 1 ½ lengths ahead of late-running Japanese import Lani. It was the first Belmont Stakes victory for both jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. and trainer Steve Asmussen.
“I thought Irad gave him a perfect trip,” said Asmussen said. “He went through a lot of traffic very smooth.”
It was the third win from 10 career starts for Creator, who skipped the Preakness after finishing 13th following a nightmarish trip in the Kentucky Derby. The $800,000 winner’s share of the purse pushed his bankroll to $1,568,320.
Celebrity chef Bobby Flay purchased an interest in the horse just a few days before the race.
“The truth was that I had planned to bring about 15 to 20 people to the Belmont Stakes, which I do every year, and I had a horse named America who was going to run in the Ogden Phipps, but I retired her just last month,” said Flay post race. “So I really had nothing to run.”
Flay was approached by Elliott Walden, president of WinStar Farms, who told Flay there was a possibility he could get involved with Creator.
“I shouldn’t even be sitting here,” Flay added. “I certainly was cheering the loudest in the entire racetrack, and maybe I gave that last little head bob, but that’s about it.”
All-sources handle on Belmont Stakes Day at the park was $99,419,023.
On-track wagering was $11,694,847, with a paid attendance of 60,114, with off-track betting totaling $87,724,126. Total handle on the Belmont Stakes itself was $52,188,416.
In 2013, the last time the Belmont Stakes was run without a Triple Crown on the line, all-sources handle was $88,528,542.
Last year, during American Pharoah’s Triple Crown-winning Belmont Stakes, saw all-sources handle of $135,790,321 on the day.