Nest looks to make Belmont Stakes history as fourth filly to win famed race

Belmont Stakes
Horses train at daybreak before the 154th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race, Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in Elmont, N.Y.
AP Photo/John Minchillo

It has been 15 years since a filly won the Belmont Stakes and just three in the race’s 154-year history have ever taken home the crown. This year Nest, at 8-1 odds, will look to make history as the first filly to win the Triple Crown’s final leg since Rags to Riches won in 2007. 

 For horse racing novices out there, a filly racing the Stakes is rare, but not unheard of. Only 23 have run at Belmont in its history and between 1923 and 1980 only one filly competed at the Belmont Stakes. 

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“It’s something you see occasionally,” trainer for both Nest and Mo Donegal Todd Pletcher said about racing a filly at the Stakes. “It’s not something you see often, but it’s always exciting when you do. It’s an extra challenge. In Nest’s case, she’s a filly that has a lot of pedigree and a lot of stamina in her pedigree for a race like this. That’s a huge part of it.”

Nest is coming off a second-place finish at the Kentucky Oats last month and had a 92 Beyer Speed Figure, which is the rating system that is used to determine a thoroughbred’s performance. What she also has going for is Pletcher’s success with fillies. 

Belmont Stakes field 2022
Odds set by the New York Racing Association

Pletcher trained Rags to Riches to her 2007 Belmont Stakes victory that snapped a 102-year stretch without a filly winning at Belmont. Additionally, he has trained two other winners in Palace Malice (2013), and Tapwrit (2017).

Pletcher seemed confident that Nest didn’t have any disadvantage as a filly going into Saturday’s race. “We’ve seen very good fillies can compete with the best colts and that’s what we’re hoping for with her,” he said. 

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Nest has not finished lower than third and has three wins to her name. She’ll start Saturday’s race from the No. 3 post position. 

We The People is the 2-1 favorite to take Belmont Stakes and Kentucky Dery winner Rich Strike has 7-2 odds to win.