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Belmont Stakes: Jayson Werth says his horse’s win feels as good as World Series title

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Jayson Werth is both a World Series winner and Belmont Stakes winner. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Jayson Werth was conspicuously absent from a small reunion of the Philadelphia Phillies’ 2008 World Series team in London on Saturday. Let’s just say he had a schedule conflict.

Werth was busy watching Dornoch, a horse he co-owns, breaking through 17-to-1 odds to win the 2024 Belmont Stakes. Dornoch moved to the front early and battled it out with co-favorite Seize the Grey until the Preakness Stakes winner faded after the final turn.

The win will land Werth and his co-owners $1.2 million in prize money.

You can see Werth watching the victory from his box here:

An ecstatic Werth was asked by Fox Sports after the race how Dornoch’s win compared to winning a World Series with the Phillies in 2008. He answered in the affirmative:

“I would put it right up there with winning at the biggest stage. Horse racing is the most underrated sport in the world, bar none. It’s the biggest game, you’ve got the Derby, the Preakness, the Belmont. We just won the Belmont. This is as good as it gets in horse racing, this is as good as it gets in sports.”

Per the Philadelphia Inquirer, Werth got into horse racing in 2021 while trying to combat a post-retirement malaise and ended up buying into Dornoch in 2022. The purchase was made at Keeneland’s September yearling sale in Kentucky, one of the industry’s biggest auctions, but Werth told the Inquirer his involvement came about by accident:

“I’m extremely lucky to be involved, and the way that I got in on Dornoch is a crazy story,” Werth said. “I went to the right side of the bar instead of the left side of the bar. I just happened to buy the right guy a drink and started talking to him.”

That person reportedly told Werth that Dornoch is the brother of 2023 Kentucky Derby winner Mage and has a pedigree that includes 2008 Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Big Brown. He offered Werth a 10% stake in a horse that sold for $325,000.

That investment more than paid off Saturday. Before that, Dornoch placed 10th in the Kentucky Derby and sat out the Preakness Stakes.

Werth played 15 seasons in MLB, mostly with the Phillies and Washington Nationals. He was among the most valuable players on Philadelphia’s 2008 World Series team, hitting .273/.363/.498 and earned All-Star honors in 2009. One year later, he left the team in free agency for the Nationals on a seven-year, $126 million contract.

While his tenure with the Nationals wasn’t as successful, Werth played a significant role in the team’s rise from NL East doormat to a perennial division contender, reaching the playoffs four time in his seven years with the team. He retired at the age of 38 in 2017, when his contract expired.

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