Union Rags is the winner of the 2012 Belmont Stakes after the horse snuck by Paynter in the final 100 meters. Paynter led the race virtually from the start, out in front and trailed much of the way by Optimizer and Unstoppable U. Those were the leaders at the midway point of the race, where Union Rags began to advance. Race favorite Dullahan was never a factor, opening towards the back of the pack and never moving past the middle. As the race entered the stretch the favorite was again towards the rear. Atigun came in third, followed by Street Life in fourth.
While Dullahan struggled jockey John Velazquez was urging Union Rags through the narrow space between Paynter and the rail, finding a hole and tacking advantage to collect his second Belmont Stakes win. It was Velazquez's first run on Union Rags, having replaced Julien Leparoux in the past week. Union Rags' time in the race was 2:30:42, and the final odds for the horse were 5-2.