Dornoch rebounds in Belmont upset

June 8th, 2024

Nothing went right from the rail in the Kentucky Derby (G1) five weeks earlier, but Dornoch turned things around with a game upset win in Saturday’s $2 million Belmont S. (G1) at Saratoga, outfinishing Mindframe by a half-length in the final leg of the Triple Crown.

Overlooked at 17-1, the Danny Gargan-trained colt broke well with regular rider Luis Saez and pressed Preakness (G1) winner Seize the Grey, drawing even on the far turn and taking a short lead into the stretch. He went on to complete 1 1/4 miles in 2:01.64.

Mindframe, a slight 5-1 second choice over Seize the Grey in his third career start, closed determinedly from third to challenge in upper stretch but drifted out in midstretch. Irad Ortiz Jr. angled his mount back to the inside, but the colt's inexperience appeared to cost him as Dornoch regained control and prevailed under the wire.

Grade 1 winner and Kentucky Derby runner-up Sierra Leone wound up a non-threatening third after another adventurous trip. The 8-5 favorite dropped back after being cut off at the break and got roughed up leaving the far turn, entering the stretch extremely wide. He then drifted in twice, almost reaching the rail, and kept advancing belatedly to finish another half-length back in third while angling back outside the top two.

Honor Marie completed the superfecta from off the pace, finishing four lengths back of Sierra Leone . Antiquarian came next in fifth and was followed by Protective, Seize the Grey, Mystik Dan, The Wine Steward, and Resilience.

A full brother to 2023 Kentucky Derby winner Mage, Dornoch established himself as a serious contender for the Kentucky Derby when capturing the Remsen (G2) last December. He came back to win a scratch-depleted Fountain of Youth (G2) in his 2024 opener, but the Good Magic colt was never factor finishing fourth in the Blue Grass (G1) and wound up 10th in the Kentucky Derby after the troubled start.

The bay colt will point toward the $1.25 Travers (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 24 this summer.