NEW YORK (AP) – Bob Baffert sure knows how to lose thrillers.
It happened again Saturday, when Union Rags nipped the trainer’s front-running Paynter at the wire and won the Belmont Stakes.
The nail-biting defeat made it three straight for Baffert in this season’s Triple Crown races. Add those to two of his three near misses with a Triple Crown on the line, and that’s quite a run of tough luck.
I’ll Have Another ran down Baffert’s Bodemeister in the final 100 yards and won the Kentucky Derby by 1 1/2 lengths on May 5. Two weeks later in the Preakness, the result was the same, but by a neck.
Paynter drifted out a little near the finish, and Union Rags got his neck in front at the wire, leaving Baffert a close-call loser again. This time it was a photo finish.