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Belmont Stakes Winner: Union Rags Wins The 144th Running Of The Belmont Stakes

Union Rags is the winner in the 2012 Belmont Stakes, taking the race from Paynter in the final stretch. Paynter had the lead for almost the entire race, jumping out to a strong start and staying there until Union Rags snuck between him and the rail, taking the race in the final 100 meters. Dullahan, the clear favorite following I'll Have Another's scratch, was never a factor. After starting the race somewhere towards the back of the pack, the horse never advanced past the middle and was fading back towards the rear by the final turn.

It was the second Belmont Stakes win for jockey John Velazquez, who had replaced Julien Leparoux earlier in the week. It was his first ride on Union Rags. Paynter finished in second behind Union Rags, followed by Atigun in third and Street Life in fourth. Union Rags' winning time was 2:30:42, with the final odds given 5-2

Stay tuned to this storystream for updates from the 2012 Belmont Stakes. For full time horse racing news and analysis, check out horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come.