Creator wins the Belmont stakes


NEW YORK – Creator — ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr. — was crowned winner in the 148th Belmont Stakes Saturday afternoon.

Trainer Chad Brown dominated the $500,000 New York Stakes on Friday, saddling the first three finishers in the race for fillies and mares on the turf at Belmont Park.

The New York was the richest of six stakes on the afternoon before the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes.

Brown sent out three runners in the 1 ¼ mile race, and each came home with a significant check.

Dacita got the winner's share— $275,000— with a relentless rally under Irad Ortiz Jr., who won two stakes on the day.

Ortiz saved ground with the 5-year-old, keeping her on the hedge for most of the race. He angled Dacita widest of all for the stretch run and she responded to catch stablemate Sea Calisi by three-quarters of a length.

Guapaza got third, completing the Brown trifecta.

"All three horses ran terrific," Brown said. "Irad rode her beautifully. It's his first time riding this filly and she can be a little quirky."

Dacita paid $11.80, $4.30 and $2.90.

Sea Calisi, the 4-to-5 favorite, returned $2.50 and $2.10.

Guapaza paid $2.80 to show.

The time was 2:01.46 over the firm course.

— Da Big Hoss won the $300,000 Belmont Gold Cup Invitational, the longest race of the day at two miles on the turf.

Florent Geroux bided his time with the 5-year-old, turning the 2-1 favorite loose at the top of the lane. Da Big Hoss took it from there in a course-record performance, beating Now We Can by 1 ½ lengths.

Da Big Hoss, trained by Mike Maker, was clocked in 3:17.29, slicing almost three full seconds off the previous mark.

It was his third stakes victory in four starts this season. Da Big Hoss paid $6.40 to win.

— Joking got the last laugh in the $250,000 True North, rallying from far back to nip Dads Caps by a neck at the wire. It was the third straight win for the 7-year-old gelding trained by Charlton Baker and ridden by Manny Franco. He paid $21.80 for the 9-1 upset. The time was 1:08.04 for the six furlongs.

— Silver Mission improved to 2 for 2 with a dominant 6 ¼-length victory over Hey Mike in the $200,000 Tremont for 2-year-old fillies.

Silver Mission and John Velazquez took charge right from the start and dictated the pace. They sprinted clear at the top of the lane, completing the 5 ½ furlongs in 1:03.78.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Silver Mission paid $6.60 to win.

The field was reduced to four when Lady Stardust, the 4-5 favorite at the time, reared in the starting gate and tossed jockey Ortiz. Both horse and rider walked off uninjured,

— Theogony powered to an 8-length victory in the inaugural running of the $150,000 Rags to Riches Invitational. The race for older fillies and mares was run at the same 1 ½ mile distance on the main track as Saturday's Belmont Stakes.

The 6-year-old trained by Mark Casse and ridden by Julien Leparoux stalked the pace set by Milaya before leaving that rival in her wake at the top of the stretch. It was her fifth victory in 19 starts.

Theogony paid $4.80 to win as the slight 7-to-5 second choice.

Mei Ling, the 6-to-5 favorite, rallied to get second.

The time was 2:28.42.

— Kareena, the 1-to-5 favorite, never gave her backers an anxious moment in the $150,000 Jersey Girl for 3-year-old filly sprinters. And she did it with style, winning by 6 ¼ lengths over Appealing Maggie while flirting with the track record for 6 furlongs. She stopped the clock in 1:07.87, just shy of the 1:07.66 mark set by Artax in 1999.

Ortiz rode for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin as Kareena got her second win in three starts. She paid $2.60 to win.