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Sounds From the 153rd Belmont Stakes

As was the case for the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, it was a gorgeous day at Belmont Park on Saturday — the sun was shining, the track was fast, and after a year away because of the coronavirus pandemic, the crowd was more joyful than inebriated. A trifecta of perfect conditions for the Belmont Stakes, one of horse racing’s most cherished races.

Essential Quality, the Derby favorite who could not overcome a bad start, sat out the Preakness in the hopes of a better showing in the Belmont.

The plan paid off as he defeated Hot Rod Charlie to win the mile-and-a-half Test of the Champion, becoming become the fourth horse sired by Tapit to outlast his rivals in the final leg of the Triple Crown.