With the defection of Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense from the last leg of the Triple Crown, only 46,870 came out to Belmont Park for the $1 million Belmont Stakes (G1) for three-year-olds going 1 1/2 miles on the main track. Just seven entered, including Preakness winner Curlin who was sent off as the 11-10 favorite over 4-1 second choice Rags to Riches, the Todd Pletcher-trained filly and Kentucky Oaks winner facing males for the first time. Hard Spun, second in the Derby and third in the Preakness, rounded out the top three on the board at 5-1.
Rags to Riches went to her knees at the start but John Velazquez got her going quickly despite giving most of the field a 2 3/4 length head start. Longshots C P West and Slew's Tizzy contested the pace up front in 24.74, 50.14, 1:15.32, and 1:40.23 with Hard Spun a close up third, but clearly wanting to go to the lead but was held up by new jockey Garrett Gomez. Curlin sat in fourth while Rags to Riches raced in fifth down the backstretch. On the far turn, Rags to Riches and Curlin moved up on the leaders as the pacesetters tired and dropped back. Rags to Riches took the lead at the top of the stretch after ten furlongs in 2:04.91, with Curlin to her inside. The pair fought for the lead for the last quarter mile, but Rags to Riches put her head in front at the line to win in 2:28.74. It was 5 1/2 lengths back to Tiago in third, and 5 1/2 more to Hard Spun in fourth. Rags to Riches is only the third filly to win the Belmont, and the first since Tanya in 1905.