Arcangelo pulls off upset at 155th Belmont Stakes: Jena Antonucci becomes first woman trainer to win

Arcangelo wins Belmont while trainer makes history
Arcangelo, left, is walked back to the stables with trainer Jena Antonucci, right, ahead of the Belmont Stakes horse race, Friday, June 9, 2023, at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
AP Photos

ELMONT –History has been made at the 155th running of the Belmont Stakes. 

With Arcangelo’s surprising win at the final leg of the Triple Crown, trainer Jena Antonucci became the first woman trainer to win at the historic race. The victory came at a head and a half for the three-year-old horse owned by the Blue Rose Farm and jockeyed by Javier Castellano. 

Arcangelo came into Saturday’s race at 8/1 odds with other horses such as Forte and National Treasure considered favorites. Arcangelo had skipped the Kentucky Derby and Preakness leading up to the successful run at Belmont.  National Treasure built an early lead throughout the race, Arcangelo took over at the final turn and didn’t look back. Arcangelo finished the 1 1/2 mile race in 2:29.23 and as 1 1/2 lengths in front of the second-place finisher.

“We just believed in the horse, and the team is great. It’s the dream team. We’re just the best together,” Jon Ebbert explained following the win. 

Antonucci became only the 11th woman to saddle a Belmont runner in the 155-year history of the race. Sarah Lundy was the first to break new ground when her Minstrel Star finished 11th in 1984. Being the first to win a leg in the Triple Crown though has had a humbling experience for the 47-year-old trainer. 

“I’m honored,” Antonucci said following the win. “We’re trying to soak all this in. We’re just proud of this horse. He (Arcangelo) has the heart of a champion. Just amazing, an amazing gift and we’re immensely grateful.”

Forte, entering today at 5/2 odds finished in second place while Tapit Trice (3/1) finished in third. 

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