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Creator wins Belmont Stakes by a nose

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ELMONT, NY - JUNE 11: Creator with jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. up leads the field to the finish to win the The 148th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 11, 2016 in Elmont, New York. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

ELMONT, NY – JUNE 11: Creator with jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. up leads the field to the finish to win the The 148th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 11, 2016 in Elmont, New York. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

ELMONT, N.Y. — Creator closed with a rush and caught Destin at the wire to win the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on Saturday, with Preakness winner Exaggerator finishing well back in the field.

The 3-year-old gray colt trained by Steve Asmussen came flying down the stretch as Destin tried to hang on to the lead. But it was Creator, who finished 13th in the Derby and skipped the Preakness, who won by a nose. It was the fourth time the Belmont was decided by a nose — the closest possible margin of victory.

Preakness winner Exaggerator was sent off as the 7-5 favorite in the field of 13. He was closer to the lead than usual, but wound up 11th.

A year ago, American Pharoah ran to Triple Crown glory at Belmont Park, but a Triple wasn’t on the line this time. Nyquist won the Kentucky Derby, but finished third in the Preakness and did not run in the Belmont.

The winning time for 1 1/2 miles was 2:28.51.

Gloomy skies and storm clouds loomed, threatening to drench the 1 ½-mile dirt track. But the weather cooperated and the best 3-year-old colts in horse racing galloped along a dry stretch in front of some 60,000 spectators. Moments after the photo finish, it began to rain.