Despite the fact that there was no historic Triple Crown moment on the line due to the late scratch of I'll Have Another, the 2012 Belmont Stakes still managed to provide a thrilling race. Union Rags emerged from the middle of the pack to pass Paynter down the stretch and win the race. Atigun finished in third, but it was the photo finish between Union Rags and Paynter that stole the moment.
Paynter led for nearly the entire race and appeared poised to give trainer Bob Baffert something to celebrate, after Bodemeister finished in second place in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. However, it was not meant to be, as Union Rags broke away from the pack of horses and made an impressive push down the stretch to narrowly edge out Paynter at the finish line.