by Mark Mayer | It was the Nick Zito-trained Da Tara, a 38-1 shot, that won the 1½-mile Belmont going away as Big Brown was slowed up near the top of the backstretch when jockey Kent Desormeaux determined the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner had nothing left to give.
"I didnt have the horse," said Desormeaux, who had been confident that Big Brown would become the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to capture the Triple Crown. It was just the second win in the racing career of Da Tara, which paid $79.00 to win. Denis Of Cork finished second, making the 6-4 exacta worth $659.
With Casino Drive scratched earlier in the day, Big Brown went from 1-3 to 1-4 on the morning line at the Las Vegas Hilton SuperBook. Big Brown had his own injury concerns, but was able to race wearing an acrylic patch on his front left foot and came through without further problem following post-race medical examination.
The track had been muddy during the week in New York, but the race went off under partly sunny skies and temperatures in the low 90s.