Tapwrit wins Belmont Stakes

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He previously won in 2007 with Rags to Riches and in 2013 with Palace Malice.

No horse won the Triple Crown this year, but it's a triple of sorts for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Romans has had some awfully good horses finish off the board in the Belmont, including 2011 Preakness victor Shackleford and multiple Grade 1 winners Dullahan (2012) and Brody's Cause (2016).

Tapwrit followed a familiar pattern for Pletcher, a run in the Kentucky Derby and then skip the Preakness to prepare for the Belmont Stakes.

"It was everything that we had talked about", Pletcher said.

According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, Irish War Cry remains the favorite at 7/2.

Also look out for Patch, a stablemate to Tapwrit and a trainee of Pletcher.

Tapwrit's winning time for 1 1/2 miles was 2:30.02.

The win also created a nice streak for the Ortiz family at the Belmont. The distance-I was sure he could handle it.

Epicharis, a victor in four of five career starts, was the second choice in the morning line at 4-1.

The exacta of Tapwrit and Irish War Cry paid $45.20 for $2.

"The Derby win was awesome", he said.

Running in - and winning - all three US Classics in the space of five weeks is a demanding task.

Hoppert: The Tesio Stakes victor is steadily improving and has a pedigree that suggests he may like the mile-and-a-half distance. They had the right running styles, the right dispositions, the right pedigrees. "We're fortunate it fell into place".

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

Cali-based trainer Bob Baffert won the Easy Goer with a horse named - wait for it - West Coast, then went on a scorched-earth rampage across the grounds, going 4-for-4, all in graded stakes, by a combined 14 1/4 lengths and racking up nearly $1.4 million in purse money in the process.

Unsurprisingly, Always Dreaming is the clear favorite for the Preakness.

Classic Empire, the Preakness runner-up and the expected Belmont favorite, was found to have a foot abscess on Wednesday morning and was withdrawn from consideration.

Speculation on the status of early 4-1 second choice Epicharis continued to swirl Friday after the colt didn't train for a third straight day because of his sore right front hoof.

All that left it a wide-open race, and in the end it was Tapwrit that proved he was up to the grueling 1 1/2-mile challenge.

Pletcher, who is set to run American Patriot in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot later this month, said afterwards, "Tapwrit was getting a lovely trip".

"We were hoping he had enough when it came to crunchtime", Pletcher said.

Irish War Cry made the lead, set some energy conserving fractions, which basically took the late-running closers out of the race. Tapwrit ultimately emerged victorious, overtaking Irish War Cry down the final stretch to claim the Stakes. Graham Motion said the plan wasn't for the son of Curlin to have the lead, but the trainer was not unhappy with the trip or performance by his colt.

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

It took a while for Tapwrit to find his best gear.

If Irish War Cry's jockey, Rajiv Maragh, was disappointed in coming up just short, he didn't show it after the race. It's a tough race.

Dallas Stewart's Hollywood Handsome, in the back of the field, was forced to check early and jockey Florent Geroux lost his footing in the irons. "I nearly went down". "It's an unbelievable feeling that I can't explain", said Ortiz.

Jose Ortiz won his first Triple Crown race with Tapwrit in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday.

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