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Dornoch, co-owned by former MLB All-Star, strides to victory at 2024 Belmont Stakes

By half a length, former Major League Baseball All-Star Jayson Werth‘s Dornoch won the 156th Belmont Stakes on Saturday.

Trained by Danny Gargan and ridden by jockey Luis Saez, who previously won the Belmont in 2021 on a different horse, Dornoch maintained pace with Preakness winner Seize the Grey, who could not keep pace in the latter stretch of the race.

Saturday was redemption for Dornoch’s 10th place finish in the Kentucky Derby, which saw Mystik Dan cross the finish line first in a photo finish.

Viewers might have noticed the 2024 Belmont Stakes track looked a little different, because the race was not held at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., where it has been held most years since 1905.

This year’s relocation to Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., approximately three hours north of Elmont, was necessary for a major renovation at Belmont. According to USA Today Sports, the last time the Belmont Stakes was held elsewhere was for another renovation in 1967. Races in 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1967 were held at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens.

This year’s renovation, including demolition of the grandstand and clubhouse, is expected to be complete after 2025 and will cost nearly half a billion dollars. Fencing will also be replaced throughout the backstretch and the barn area will be modernized.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.