Union Rags wins Belmont Stakes with late charge to finish line

Union Rags wins Belmont Stakes with late charge to finish line

Credit: Getty Images

ELMONT, NY - JUNE 09: Jockey John Velazquez takes Union Rags into the winners circle after winning the 144th Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 9, 2012 in Elmont, New York. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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by AP

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 9, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Updated Saturday, Jun 9 at 8:09 PM

NEW YORK (AP) -- Union Rags nipped Paynter at the wire in a photo finish to win the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, beating a field without Triple Crown hopeful I'll Have Another who was retired with an injury.

The finish was another thriller in the final leg of the Triple Crown, and hard luck trainer Bob Baffert was on the losing end each time.

I'll Have Another used two stirring stretch drives to beat Baffert's Bodemeister in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. In the 1 1/2-mile Belmont, it was Union Rags who provided the thrills.

A crowd of 85,811 cheered as the horses battled down the stretch, and Union Rags barely caught the front-runner at the end.

Union Rags, trained by Michael Matz, finished a disappointing seventh in the Derby and skipped the Preakness.

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