Early Belmont Stakes 2012 results from the New York track are in for one race ahead of the main event. The Manhattan Handicap winner was just decided at Belmont Park, to get the fans warmed up for the thoroughbred race scheduled to follow after.
The Belmont Stakes live race will get started with a post time of 6:40 p.m. EST. However, about an hour ahead of it, the Manhattan Handicap was shown on NBC during their pre-race coverage. Coming into the race, Hudson Steele was the favorite at 5 to 2 odds, with Brilliant Speed at 3 to 1, Omayad at 4 to 1, and Boisterous at 5 to 1. Just like I'll Have Another scratched from Belmont, there was a scratch in this race too, as Top Surprize did not compete.
Hudson Steele started out in front early on the grass track, leading by a length and a half around the first turn. Papaw Bodie, Desert Blanc, and Brilliant Speed were among those challenging. Down the stretch, Hudson Steele continued its lead, with Papaw Bodie and Desert Blanc trying to surge ahead. They did so, with a near photo finish as Desert Blanc took the race by about a nose over Papaw Bodie. The two competing jockeys will both be a part of the Belmont race as well. Boisterous finished the race third, with Hudson Steele fourth.
A tweet from Horse Racing Nation said:
"Desert Blanc gets the photo in the Manhattan Handicap over Papaw Bodie."
Several of the jockeys competing in the Belmont Stakes rode horses in this race. They included three of the Belmont odds on favorites, as Dullahan's Castellano, Union Rags' John Velazquez, and Paynter's Mike Smith all rode in the Manhattan Handicap. With jockeys, one has to wonder if it will be tiring to run in consecutive races, but probably not as tiring as it would be for a horse to try to run two straight.
Congratulations are certainly in order for Desert Blanc for taking the Manhattan Handicap! Now sports and horse racing fans will shift their attention to the 2012 Belmont Stakes results to see which of the contenders will take today's victory!
(Image Source: Wikimedia)