Dornoch Triumphs at Belmont, Building on West Paces Racing’s Success

Dornoch competes in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo courtesy of Dr. Michael Huang Photography

In a surprise finish, Dornoch won the 2024 Belmont Stakes on Saturday at the Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Among a stacked field, the odds were not in favor of the horse at 17-1. This win not only adds to Dornoch’s but also highlights the achievements of Buckhead’s West Paces Racing, the ownership group behind this champion horse.

West Paces Racing has consistently demonstrated its commitment to excellence in the horse racing community. Their notable achievement of having two horses in the Kentucky Derby earlier this year underscored their dedication and expertise in the sport. Dornoch’s Belmont victory is a testament to their meticulous breeding, training, and strategy in the sport.

The victory gives jockey Luis Saez his second Belmont Stakes win and marks the first for trainer Danny Gargan. Despite the colt’s recent poor starts, Dornoch’s team wasn’t ready to quit on him.

“No one believed in this horse,” trainer Gargan told Fox Sports in the post-race broadcast. “Those last two races are throw-outs. I told Luis you run your race, nobody’s going to beat you.”

In April’s Blue Grass race, the horse looked to be the one to beat but finished fourth after losing to another strong contender, Sierra Leone. The following month at the Kentucky Derby, the horse started out at a disadvantage by drawing the No. 1 post position, ending the race in the middle of the field at 10th place.

“When I rode this horse here at Saratoga last year, I told Danny he had the Derby winner,” Saez said. “Unfortunately, the Derby is a crazy race, but we had a good trip today.”

Ahead of Saturday’s race, Sierra Leone, who took second at this year’s Kentucky Derby, was favored to win, followed by Preakness winner Seize the Grey and Mindframe, according to Fan Duel Sportsbook odds.

The Belmont Stakes, often referred to as the “Test of the Champion,” is the third and final jewel in the Triple Crown series. Dornoch’s performance was nothing short of spectacular, showcasing the endurance and speed that West Paces Racing has cultivated. Starting with longer odds, Dornoch surprised many with his commanding win, which came with a lucrative prize of about $1.2 million from the $2 million purse.

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