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Creator is the third winner in Triple Crown Derby

Posted by Betonline Team on 6/16/2016 5:14:52 AM
Creator is the third winner in Triple Crown Derby

Things are going well for horse trainer Steve Asmussen.

He will be inducted later this summer into the racing Hall of Fame at age 50 and his wife Julie’s cancer is in remission.

Oh, and by the way, his horse Creator held off Destin in a photo finish to win the Belmont Stakes and $800,000 of the $1.5 million purse. For Creator, it was his third victory in 10 races and the colt has now earned $1.5 million.

The only downside is post-race interviews were done in the rain as the track was drenched after the show. It was Asmussen’s show who also won the Preakness with Curlin and Rachel Alexander.

This victory meant a lot but this was more about family, health and happiness for Asmussen.

“To be blessed enough to have a big victory and to be able to celebrate and share that with your family means everything,” he said. “Racing for me is a family affair. I grew up in my parents’ barn and they’re still a huge part of it. To be able to celebrate and share this win with my family is very, very special.”

It was a special win as three different horses won races in the Triple Crown. Exaggerator, who won the Preakness, made a valiant effort and was in a position to make a move midway through the race but did not have enough staying power to make a push. Derby winner Nyquist did not compete due to health problems.

That opened the door for Creator who moved past Destin well into the stretch. It was a gutsy win for the horse and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.

“He needs to be rewarded and pampered a little bit,” Asmussen said. “He was a valiant horse on the lead. He showed (in the Arkansas Derby) that he’s not a patsy by any means, that it will take a lot to wear him down. He carried them a long ways yesterday.”

The outcome of the race wasn’t decided until on-track photos were displayed on television monitors.

“I thought Irad did a masterful job with him and every decision he made,” Asmussen said. “I really thought the horse tried to win late. He just really, really laid out there and dug in, and I personally feel fortunate for his effort.”

It wasn’t the best of times for the Exaggerator stable who came into the race as the favorite. After being in a positon to make a move the horse faded and finished 11th in the 13-horse field. The finishing kick that won the Santa Anita Derby and Preakness wasn’t there.

Trainer Keith Desormeaux said the deep sand bothered his horse on the 1.5-mile track.

“I can guarantee the (Triple Crown) races didn’t take a toll, but he struggled with the track,” Desormeaux said. “He gave us his life to win and it got to him. I’m settling on he didn’t get a hold of the track.”

It was the fifth time in eight years that a different horse won the three races. That cut down on the excitement of a year ago when American Pharaoh swept the three races and won the Triple Crown. Last year 90,000 attended the race. This year the crowd was announced at 60,114.

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