Ruler on Ice pulls surprise to win Belmont Stakes

June 11, 2011 - 6:59 PM
Belmont Stakes Horse Racing

Fans wait for the start of a horse race before the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 11, 2011, at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

NEW YORK (AP) — Ruler On Ice posted a huge upset in the Belmont Stakes, taking the lead from Preakness winner Shackleford in the stretch and winning the final leg of the Triple Crown.

Shackleford led from the start Saturday, but when the field of 12 turned for home in the 1½-mile Belmont, 24-1 long shot Ruler on Ice took over under Jose Valdivia Jr., and splashed home first, three-quarters of a length ahead of Stay Thirsty.

The much-hyped rubber match between Shackleford and Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom never materialized. Shackleford finished fifth, while Animal Kingdom got off to a terrible start, never got into contention and finished sixth. Jockey John Velazquez nearly fell off when Animal Kingdom collided with Monzon just after the start.

Ruler On Ice, trained by Kelly Breen, did not run in the first two legs of the Triple Crown.