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Published on Apr 3, 2013
A record crowd of more than 120,000 went from a roar to silence today at Belmont Park as Birdstone upset Smarty Jones in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and denied racing its 12th Triple Crown winner.
Stewart Elliott sent Smarty Jones to the lead early on the backside and the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner was pressed most of the way down the backstretch, first by Eddington and then by Rock Hard Ten.
Smarty Jones put both of those horses away, but Edgar Prado had Birdstone moving well and he came up on Smarty Jones' outside with a furlong to run and gutted out a one-length win.
"He kind of drug Stew to the lead. He didn't settle as easily as he had in his other races," Smarty Jones' trainer John Servis said immediately after the race.
"I was pressured by still felt like I had enough horse," Elliott said.
Prado, who rode the winner, apologized for spoiling yet another Triple Crown bid. "I'm very sorry," Prado said, "but I had to do my job. This is just part of the business."