The 148th running of the Belmont Stakes took place on Saturday at Belmont Park and while many were expecting the Preakness winner, Exaggerator, to earn the win, we ended up with yet another surprise in this year’s Triple Crown series.

Exaggerator went out in the 13-horse field as the 9/5 morning-line favourite, ahead of Stradivari (5/1), Destin (6/1) and Cherry Wine (8/1). Exaggerator, a closer that comes from behind, was supposed to be tailor-made for the 1.5-mile long Belmont Park – the longest of the three Triple Crown races. Some were suggesting rain could be in the forecast, which would have further helped Exaggerator who has thrived on sloppy tracks. But on race day, the rain held back and the track was fast.

Gettysburg set an early lead at a relatively quick pace for the Belmont, but Destin caught up and took over the lead. Meanwhile, jockey Kent Desormeaux actually slowed Exaggerator down, keeping him behind the field as the others set the pace. That’s normal for Exaggerator, but what was out of the norm is that the Preakness Stakes winner didn’t seem to have anything in his tank. When Desormeaux asked his horse to give, Exaggerator didn’t have that extra gear. He wound up finishing 11th, which is an all-time worst for Exaggerator, who had never finished further back than fifth in his career.

The victory came down to a two-horse race between Destin and Creator; Creator kicked into high gear over the second half of the race, storming to the front of the pack as Destin tried desperately to hold on. In the end Creator took the win by a nose – the closest finish you can have in thoroughbred racing. Creator provided trainer Steve Asmussen with his first Belmont Stakes win; Asmusen won the Preakness twice, but is still missing a Kentucky Derby victory.

The Belmont Stakes upset resulted in a thrilling end to a Triple Crown season that was full of surprises. After Nyquist crushed the competition at the Kentucky Derby, many people felt he’d be a Triple Crown winner. But he faded in the Preakness, allowing Exaggerator to ascend. And just when people figured Exaggerator would get the Preakness-Belmont sweep, he ran on fumes and opened the door for Creator.

After the post positions were announced, Creator was posted at (16/1), and those who invested in him earned a handsome payout.