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2012 Belmont Stakes: Union Rags Edges Out Paynter

The 2012 Belmont Stakes was supposed to be an epic race with the Triple Crown on the line, but all that changed when I'll Have Another went down with a tendon injury on Friday, so the scene at Belmont Park was not as electric as it could have been.

With I'll Have Another out, the attention turned to Dullahan and Union Rags as these two horses were positioned as the favorites to win the 144th running of the Belmont Stakes.

Paynter came out of the gate fast and broke to the rail for the early lead heading into the first turn. On that first turn it was Union Rags who was in second and about three lengths behind the leader followed closely by Dullahan.

Heading into the final turn, Paynter still held the led and was followed by Unstoppable U, My Adonis, and Union Rags right there. Union Rags was on the inside right by the rail and made a charge during the last 100 yards and finally moved past Paynter and won by about one horse heads length.

For more on the Belmont Stakes and the race for the Triple Crown, stay with the SB Nation Atlanta StoryStream and check out SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come. There, you'll also find Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.