Arcangelo, a lightly-raced son of the late champion Arrogate, stole the show on Saturday, June, 10, winning the 155th running of the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) under Javier Castellano, giving Kentucky-breds a sweep of this year’s Classic races following Mage’s win in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and National Treasure’s victory in the Preakness S. (G1). With the historic Belmont win, trainer Jena Antonucci attained racing immortality, becoming the first female trainer to win the Belmont Stakes. In addition, she also earned the distinction of becoming the first female trainer to win any of the Triple Crown races.
“It’s the horse and I am so grateful,” said the Florida-based Antonucci. “I will forever be indebted to his honesty to us, his heart, and he is why you get up seven days a week. I didn’t get a lot of sleep the last few nights, I’m not going to lie. I’m so grateful.”
Owned by Jon Ebbert’s Blue Rose Farm and bred in Kentucky by Don Alberto Corporation, Arcangelo had made just four starts prior to winning the Belmont. In his prior outing, he registered a determined score in the Peter Pan S. (G3) at Belmont in his stakes debut, giving Antonucci, who began training in 2010, just her second graded stakes win.
“When we were walking out, I said there is not a table made for you. You make the table,” Antonucci said of her accomplishment after Arcangelo’s exciting score. “You put great people around you, you work hard. Work your tail off. It will come if you do it the right way. Do it the right way.”
Ebbert shared that he always had faith in the gray ridgling who is produced from the unraced Tapit mare Modeling.
“It’s amazing. What an amazing ride,” said Ebbert. “I’m so proud of the horse. He’s an amazing horse. He’s all heart. We knew he had it in him. Javier rode him perfectly and Jena is an amazing trainer. I’m so lucky to find her. The rest is history.”
Antonucci related that Arcangelo stepped up in the Belmont despite being in the midst of learning the game.
“He’s just figuring it all out,” she said. “He’s just a big kid. “Javier did such a great job. We knew we wanted to get a little jump on them. We weren’t even worried about the distance (1 ½ miles).”
Purchased for just $35,000 at the 2021 Keeneland September Sale, Arcangelo became racing’s newest millionaire and now boasts $1,067,400 in earnings following the $900,000 winner’s share of the Belmont purse.