Tapwrit wins 149th Belmont Stakes by two lengths over Irish War Cry


The victory marked trainer Todd Pletcher's third win at the Belmont Stakes, the final race of the Triple Crown. Ironically, 10 years ago in the Belmont, Curlin was caught in deep stretch by Pletcher's first Belmont victor, the filly Rags to Riches.

The Belmont Stakes was first held at Jerome Park racetrack in the Bronx in 1867 - six years before the inaugural Preakness, eight years before the Kentucky Derby - before switching to nearby Morris Park in 1890 and then to Belmont Park, just outside Queens, in 1906.

Jose Ortiz said the difference between the Belmont and the Kentucky Derby, in which Tapwrit was sixth, was the longer distance Saturday.

Meanwhile, Bridlewood Farm and Eclipse Thoroughbred's Tapwrit, a $1.2 million purchase, was training at his Belmont Park home base from Pletcher's shed row. I always liked him and we always had a lot of faith in him. Gormley and Patch continued to do battle for third, but the two frontrunners quickly moved away from the rest of the field. However, there were several very interesting horses racing on Saturday, including the one-eyed horse Patch, who showed in third.

While at Fair Hill, Irish War Cry trained so well "I felt he earned a trip to the Belmont", Motion said.

Tapwrit returned $12.60 for a $2 win wager.

Tapwrit was never worse than fourth as Ortiz kept pacesetting Irish War Cry in his sights. The Kentucky Derby victor, Always Dreaming, was in no shape to race after finishing a disappointing eighth in the Preakness Stakes.

"The [Kentucky] Derby win was awesome, and the ebbs and flows of this game are well-documented". "The last five weeks have been the ultimate roller coaster".

Running in - and winning - all three US Classics in the space of five weeks is a demanding task. They had the right running styles and the right dispositions and the right pedigrees. We were fortunate it all fell into place.

It is the oldest event in American horse racing's esteemed Triple Crown, and - with the nickname of "Test of the Champion" - it is perhaps the hardest to win.

John Malone is chairman of Liberty Media Corp., whose holdings include Sirius XM radio and the Atlanta Braves.

Overall, Tapwrit has won four of his eight starts for earnings of over $1.1 million.

In the 11-horse field for the 2017 Belmont Stakes, you wouldn't find either Always Dreaming or Cloud Computing.

Classic Empire had been the early-line favorite, but the colt was pulled from the race by his owners shortly before the post-position draw Wednesday because of a hoof abscess.

NEW YORK (AP) - The Belmont Stakes is down to 11 horses after Epicharis was scratched after a veterinarian exam on Saturday morning. "Tapwrit was getting a lovely trip", said Pletcher. "A mile and a half is a long way to go, but in his previous races he has shown us some stamina". "We were hoping he had enough when it came crunch time. It looked like Irish War Cry had a little something left, but the last sixteenth, he dug down deep", said Pletcher. He implored his colt for all he was worth during the stretch run, and Tapwrit gradually wore down Irish War Cry under steady left-handed urging.

"It actually wasn't our plan to be on the lead", Motion, the Dubai World Cup-winning trainer, said.

Tapwrit, meanwhile, settled in third, right behind the dueling leaders.

Gormley moved in front of Tapwrit to take third as Irish War Cry was able to get away from his rivals by almost two lengths in the far turn. I'll take my shot with Tapwrit here.