The 2009 Triple Crown campaign concluded in New York on Saturday with the 141st renewal of the $1 million Belmont Stakes (G1) before a crowd of 52,861 under sunny skies. A field of 10 three-year-olds contested the 1 1/2 mile "Test of the Champion", with Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness runner-up Mine That Bird sent off as the 5-4 favorite over Florida Derby runner-up Dunkirk and Peter Pan winner Charitable Man, both at 9-2 on the board.
As expected Dunkirk went to the lead while Mine That Bird dropped back to last, as Dunkirk set a pace of 23.41, 47.13, 1:12.43, and 1:37.86 over the fast main track. Miner's Escape and Mr. Hot Stuff stalked Dunkirk for the first 3/4 mile. Approaching the far turn, Mine That Bird moved to the outside and made headway going wide entering the stretch to hook Dunkirk after 10 furlongs in 2:01.66. The pair dueled for the final quarter mile, but the race set up for Summer Bird, who closed from as far back as 9th to run by them inside the 1/8 pole to get the win going away by 2 3/4 lengths in 2:27.54. Dunkirk outfinished Mine That Bird in the final strides to get second place money by a neck, and it was a long 3 3/4 lengths back from Mine That Bird to Charitable Man fourth.
Belmont Undercard Stakes Part 1 - the Manhattan Handicap (G1) and Just a Game Stakes (G1)
Belmont Undercard Stakes Part 2 - the Acorn Stakes (G1), True North Handicap (G2), and Woody Stevens Stakes (G2)