Ruler on Ice came out of nowhere to win the 2011 Belmont Stakes on Sunday, taking down Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom and Preakness Stakes winner Shackleford to cross the finish line first. At 24-1 odds, few expected Ruler on Ice to finish near the top of the field, let alone win at Belmont Park on Saturday. But down the stretch, the favorites faded, leaving Brilliant Speed, Ruler on Ice and Stay Thirsty to battle for the win in the Belmont Stakes.
Here's the full video of Saturday's Belmont Stakes, as seen on NBC.
Pay close attention at the start and how the horses break for the rail. Almost immediately, Animal Kingdom stumbles, and nearly tosses John Velazquez off the mount just a few steps out of the gate. That stumble forced the Derby winner to the back of the field, and well off the pace as he tried to recover and make-up ground.
Shackleford started on the far outside, but immediately broke for the rail and got out to a perfect start. We already knew Shackleford loved to run from the front, and he did just that at the Belmont, dictating the pace along the way.
Finally, Ruler on Ice ran a superb race, staying on Shackleford's hip as the field rounded the final turn and headed for home. At the urging of his jockey, Ruler on Ice unleashed a furious kick, and still had enough to hold off late a late charge from Stay Thirsty to take home the Belmont win.