In two minutes and thirty seconds, the last of the 2013 Triple Crown races had come and gone. But the look of happiness on jockey Mike Smith’s face was ever-present after he brought three-year-old thoroughbred Palace Malice across the finish line of the 145th Belmont Stakes.
Palace Malice gave Preakness Stakes winner Oxbow a run for his money, taking a commanding lead near the end stretch. He also out-ran Kentucky Derby champion Orb by five furlongs to seal first place in the 1 ½ mile race at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.
Hopes were high that Orb would win all three Triple Crown races and break a 35-year non-sweep record, but 2013 became the fourth of five years to showcase three separate champions.
And lastly, a big TGGG shoutout to female jockey Rosie Napravnik, who rode Unlimited Budget this past Saturday. In her attempt to become the second female jockey to win a Triple Crown race, Rosie became the first female jockey to ride in all three Triple Crown races in the same year. Right on Rosie!