Tapwrit captures the 149th running of the Belmont Stakes

Danny Woods
June 18, 2017

Tapwrit returned $12.60, $6.50 and $5 for trainer Todd Pletcher, who won two legs of the Triple Crown following his victory with Always Dreaming in the Derby.

The win completed a stellar triple crown for Pletcher, who also trained Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming.

Tapwrit, the 5-1 second choice rallied down the stretch to pass the favorite, Irish War Cry, to win the 2017 Belmont Stakes (G1) by two lengths.

"It's a classic and, if he's doing well, I think it's a shame if he's sitting in the barn". Tapwrit's stablemate, Patch, came in a distant third.

ELMONT, N.Y. -? Belmont Park crowned another champion Saturday - just not one of the triple variety. Classic Empire, the expected favourite, dropped out Wednesday with a foot abscess.

Separate, non-comingled wagering on the Belmont Stakes opened in Japan at 6:30 a.m. ET and will remain open for the race. The Belmont Stakes is the longest of all three stake races at 1 ½ miles and that extra quarter mile usually has an effect on many horses, especially those who have a bad reputation for closing poorly.

Always Dreaming sought to become the 36th horse to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

"Tapwrit was getting a attractive trip", said Pletcher.

"We really were hoping that Always Dreaming could take a shot at coming in for a Triple Crown try".

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It will be the 149th running of the race, which was first run in 1867 and is the oldest of the Triple Crown races.

The field was cut to 11 when Epicharis, a 4-1 favorite was scratched from the race earlier Saturday after a veterinarian exam revealed continued inflammation in the colt's right front hoof. Ironically, 10 years ago in the Belmont, Curlin was caught in deep stretch by Pletcher's first Belmont victor, the filly Rags to Riches.

"I'm hoping for a good result because he's getting good support from Japan, the horsemen, and the other connections, so I'm sure that Japan is hoping for a good result", he said.

The win came one year after Ortiz finished last in the Belmont on longshot Forever d'Oro while his brother Irad won the race on Creator.

"We felt like with the five weeks in between, and with the way this horse had trained, that he had a legitimate chance", said Pletcher, who is based at Belmont Park.

For the winning rider, Jose Ortiz, this was his first Belmont Stakes victory in three tries.

Irish War Cry is the early 7-2 favorite for the final leg of the Triple Crown series. A year ago his brother, Irad, won this race with Creator.

Irish War Cry held on to finish second, while Meantime faded to an eighth-place showing.

Senior Investment, who hit the board with a third-place finish at 31-1 in the Preakness, is training well, said McPeek, who saddled Sarava to a 70-1 upset of the 2002 Belmont Stakes.

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