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Horse racing-Arcangelo wins Belmont Stakes as trainer Jena Antonucci makes history

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(Reuters) -Arcangelo powered away in the home stretch to win the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York on Saturday, making Jena Antonucci the first female trainer in the 155-year history of the race to capture the final jewel of American horse racing’s Triple Crown.

On the 50th anniversary of Secretariat’s spectacular run to complete the Triple Crown, it was Antonucci making history as Arcangelo timed his move to perfection, running away from Bob Baffert-trained National Treasure.

“Never give up,” said Antonucci, just the 11th woman to train a horse in the Belmont. “If you can’t find a seat at the table, make your own table and build your team and never give up.

“You’re seen. People see you. Just keep working your butt off.”

Arcangelo covered the 1-1/2 mile test in two minutes, 29.23 seconds, a length and half clear of favourite Forte. Tapit Trice was third.

There was no Triple Crown winner this year, with different horses capturing each of the three legs — National Treasure taking the Preakness and Mage the Kentucky Derby.

National Treasure broke quickly and led much of the race while jockey Javier Castellano settled Arcangelo in mid-field but always within striking distance.

Arcangelo and National Treasure would come out of the final turn neck-and-neck but under urging from Castellano, the colt pulled away.

As National Treasure faded, Arcangelo would easily see off a late challenge from Forte for an uncontested victory.

“I give all the credit to the horse,” said Castellano, who also rode Mage to victory at the Kentucky Derby. “This is a wonderful horse.”

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Andrea Ricci and Cynthia Osterman)

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