(Reuters) - Creator made a brilliant charge down the stretch to edge past Destin by a nose at the wire and win the 148th Belmont Stakes on Saturday, the final leg of U.S. racing's Triple Crown series for three-year-olds.

Joining in a thrilling finish was hard-charging, Japanese-based Lani, who finished third in the 1 1/2 mile (2.4 km) race, one lap around the massive Belmont Park track in Elmont, New York.

Creator, winner of the Arkansas Derby, came from far back in the 13-horse field on a track rated fast as jockey Irad Ortiz saved ground around the final turn before moving out in the straight.

Creator paid $34.80, $14.60, $9.40 for a $2 bet. Destin paid $9.40, $6.20, while Lani returned $6.60.

Exaggerator, the 6/5 favorite, faded down the stretch to finish 11th.

(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Andrew Both)