Go and Go, who arrived in the United States from Ireland three days ago, ran away with the Belmont Stakes on Saturday.
Unbridled, the Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness runner-up, finished fourth and won $1 million as the Triple Crown point leader.Go and Go, who prepped for the Belmont by taking a swim before leaving home, took the lead just before the eighth pole and drew away to win in 2:27 1-5 for the 1 1/2 miles on a track listed as good.
Go and Go, ridden by Irish jockey Michael Kinane, beat pace-setting Thirty Six Red by 8 1/4 lengths with longshot Baron de Vaux another two back and 2 1/2 ahead of Unbridled.
Go and Go, an Irish-bred colt, became the eighth foreign horse to win the Belmont in the 122 years of the race.
It was Go and Go's first race on dirt in three starts this year and only his third try on dirt in nine career races.
Trainer Dermot Weld said he has all his horses in Ireland swim and that's why his stable wins more races than others in his country.
Go and Go's easy victory realized plans that were set up last Oct. 21 after winning a stakes in Maryland.
"We planned this after he won the Laurel Futurity last year," the 41-year-old Weld said. "We decided on the Belmont rather than the Kentucky Derby for two reasons: It's easier to ship to New York than Kentucky, and I think that the Belmont will suit him better."
The Belmont fit Go and Go like a clay pipe fits a leprechaun.
Completing the order of finish were Yonder, Land Rush, Video Ranger, Hawaiian Pass and Country Day. Each starter carried 126 pounds.
Unbridled earned $1 million bonus for having the most points in the three Triple Crown races, based on five for a victory, three for second and one for third. Summer Squall, the Derby runner-up and Preakness winner, also had eight points but did not start Saturday.
A horse must complete all three races to be eligible for the bonus.
The only other 3-year-old to run in all three races was Land Rush.
Go and Go was the first foreign winner since Celtic Ash in 1960. The only other Irish winner of the Belmont was Cavan, who scored by a length and a half in 1958.
Go and Go's winning margin was the 10th-largest in Belmont history.
Thirty Six Red took the lead shortly after the break and led Hawaiian Pass and Baron de Vaux around the turn and into the backstretch.
Thirty Six Red continued to lead down the backstretch and around the turn to the quarter pole.