Mo Donegal added his name onto the roll of honor board at Belmont Park by winning the 154th running of the Belmont Stakes. Todd Pletcher’s colt was too strong for his rivals in the final stages of the US Triple Crown event.
The son of Uncle Mo was expected to improve for the step-up in distance to one-mile-and-four-furlongs, and that proved to be the case. He clocked a time of 2:28:28 which was enough for a three-length success.
His victory in New York cements Pletcher’s runner as one of the leading three-year-olds in training this season. It also puts him in the mix for the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland in November. He is now +800 in the racing odds for the race at the Breeders’ Cup Championship.
As shown in this season’s racing results, Mo Donegal was also victorious at Aqueduct earlier this year. He won the Grade Two Wood Memorial Stakes in New York. His only defeat so far in the campaign came in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs where he finished fifth in the race won by Rich Strike.
Pletcher Bidding for Second Classic Victory
The seven-time Trainer of the Year will be looking to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic for only the second time in his career when he saddles Mo Donegal in Kentucky in November.
Vino Rosso gave him his first victory in the feature race of the meeting when he scored in 2019 by just over four lengths. The United States Racing Hall of Fame entrant has won 10 major contests at the Breeders’ Cup, so he is not short of wins at the two-day event.
If Mo Donegal does go on to score in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, he could become the best horse Pletcher has ever trained. The New York-based man has had success with the likes of Always Dreaming, Life Is Good and Super Saver. His latest star has shown the potential to better what they all achieved on the course.
Clash With Flightline Will Prove a Big Test
The Breeders’ Cup Classic may be the first chance Mo Donegal has to test himself against the older horses. His biggest challenger is likely to come from Flightline, who is the +300 favorite for the most prestigious race at the world championship meeting.
John Sadler’s four-year-old colt enhanced his reputation further at Belmont Park in the Grade One Metropolitan Handicap. He missed the break in the race but was still able to score by six lengths.
Flightline is unbeaten in four appearances in his career. He has scored by a large distance in each of his successes, including in the Grade One Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita last December.
The Breeders’ Cup Classic will be the dual Grade One winner’s opening attempt at one-mile-and-two-furlongs. The way he came home in the Metropolitan Handicap suggests he has the stamina to see out the extra distance.
The 2022 Breeders’ Cup Classic takes place on November 5. It will be the 39th renewal of the premier horse racing contest.