Initially, things looked good for Preakness winner Shackleford's chances of getting a second straight Triple Crown race victory. But the Belmont's length did the fast-breaking horse in on the backstretch.
Shackleford was able to break cleanly and take a lead from the first furlong, and led through the first mile on the muddy Belmont Park track.
That early speed was mitigated by a clear attempt to conserve energy midway through the race, but that approach was neither good enough to build an unassailable lead for Shackleford or preserve enough stamina to finish the race strong. Shackleford faded on the backstretch, falling out of contention as Ruler on Ice and Stay Thirsty stayed on pace, and ultimately finished fifth, one spot ahead of Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom.
Shackleford's relatively long odds on the day — 10-1 in the late afternoon — turned out to be good ones.
Look back on our 2011 Preakness StoryStream to get up to speed To look back at the Derby, check out SB Nation's 2011 Kentucky Derby StoryStream. Also, our horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come has two must-read resources for Belmont fans: A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.