The 143rd running of the Belmont Stakes unfolded as most analysts expected for Preakness Stakes winner Shackleford. Breaking from the extreme outside No. 12 post position Shackleford had no trouble getting to the lead and setting the pace for most of the race.
Also as expected, however, the Belmont's 11/2-mile distance -- longest of the three Triple Crown races -- proved to be too much for Shackleford, a 10-1 fourth choice for bettors who ended up fifth in the race.
Ruler On Ice, the eventual winner as a 24-1 long shot who had not run in either the Kentucky Derby or Preakness, had stayed just behind Shackleford much of the race. As the horses rounded the final turn Ruler On Ice blew past the seemingly tiring Shackleford.
Stay Thirsty (2nd), Brilliant Speed (3rd) and Nehro (4th) all ran by Shackleford in the final few hundred yards. The only consolation for the Preakness winner was finishing one spot ahead of Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, who stumbled badly at the start of the race and finished sixth.