Creator took advantage of a little gamesmanship and a celebrity chef to win the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on Saturday, thanks to its owner Kenny Trout’s WinStar Farm.
It took Desormeaux, the colt’s trainer, more than 25 years of toiling at quieter racetracks to make his way to the spotlight, which he has enjoyed since Exaggerator won the Preakness Stakes.
Exaggerator opened as the 9-5 favorite and drew the No. 11 post position for the Belmont Stakes, the final leg of the Triple Crown, which will be held on Saturday.
Desormeaux, who has struggled with alcohol for years, plans to ride Exaggerator in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, three weeks after he guided the horse to a win in the Preakness Stakes.
A rematch in the Belmont Stakes on June 11 against Preakness winner Exaggerator will not happen for Kentucky Derby champion Nyquis after developing a fever and elevated white blood cell count.
Keith Desormeaux, the trainer of Exaggerator, and Kent Desormeaux, the jockey, formed a winning combination by claiming the sloppy Preakness Stakes on Saturday afternoon.
In a tragic start to Preakness day, two horses died at Pimlico Race Course and a jockey broke a collarbone after a spill on a damp, rainy Saturday.
Barbaro broke his right hind leg moments after the Preakness Stakes began and was euthanized months later. It turned out to be one of the worst days in horse racing history.
Exaggerator, the second choice in the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, can challenge Nyquist, the favorite, if he can stay closer to the pace than he did in the Kentucky Derby, his trainer said.
Only one horse, California Chrome in 2014, has won the Preakness Stakes from the 3-hole since 1993, but trainer Doug O’Neill considered the position ‘exactly what I wanted.’
My press pass allows me access to almost anywhere, which must somehow be a mistake. I’m not a VIP, or even that knowledgable about horses, but nonetheless here I am, with my badge decreeing access to Millionaires’ Row, the winners circle, most of the floors where the high rollers wine and dine. No one stops me, waving me through as I tap the badge at every port. In my costume perhaps I look the part — a Yankee trying to fit in at the border state’s most infamous and attended festivus.
Barbaro fell and broke his right hind leg shortly after the start of the Preakness Stakes in 2006, leading to the discovery of a condition that would lead to his euthanizing eight months later.