The victory by Creator meant each leg of horse racing’s Holy Grail was won by a different horse and showed that the 3-year-old division was wide open heading into the summer season.
Exaggerator was one of only two horses to compete in all three legs of the Triple Crown — the other was Lani. Exaggerator finished second to Nyquist in the Kentucky Derby before vanquishing that rival in the Preakness Stakes. Nyquist’s trainer, Doug O’Neill, decided to skip the Belmont after his colt came out of the Preakness with a fever.
The Belmont Stakes, a grueling mile-and-a-half marathon, capped a day of top-class racing at the Long Island racetrack, though it was not nearly as intoxicating as last year’s edition, when American Pharoah turned in an emphatic five-and-a-half-length victory to become just the 12th Triple Crown winner in history and the first in 37 years.