Tough Tapwrit overhauls Irish War Cry in last leg of Triple Crown

Tapwrit's late charge overhauled Irish War Cry in the closing stages to win by two lengths in NY, with one-eyed horse Patch, a 13-1 shot, in third.

This year's Triple Crown bid was scuppered when Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming finished a distant eighth behind Cloud Computing at the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico at the end of May. It was a great training job by Todd. Obviously the third leg of the Triple Crown always has a bit of intrigue due to the length of the race.

Irish War Cry is another with significant chances after being rested for the Preakness Stakes following an uncharacteristic flat performance in the Kentucky Derby.

Cloud Computing skipped the Derby, won the Preakness and is sitting out the Belmont.

"But we felt really good coming in that actually both horses were doing very well and were suited to the mile and half, with the right running styles and the right disposition, the right pedigrees".

Tapwrit finished sixth in the Derby after encountering early trouble, but Pletcher felt it was "a sneaky good" race. Irish War Cry went for the early lead and was immediately pressured by Meantime, with Tapwrit settling in third. Tapwrit's Belmont was Pletcher's third, after Palace Malice won it in 2013 and the filly Rags to Riches outdueled Curlin in 2007 in what remains one of the most goosebump-inducing sporting events I've witnessed live. "It looked like Irish War Cry still had something left, but the last sixteenth, he dug down deep".

Pletcher became the first trainer since 1996 to win the Kentucky Derby and Belmont in the same year with different horses. Patch came in third.

Tapwrit returned $12.60, $6.50 and $5 across the board for a $2 bet.

His latest triumph comes with a huge assist from jockey Jose Ortiz, who gave the son of Tapit an ideal ground-saving trip from post 2 in a field of 11.

This is his third victor in the Belmont Stakes, with Rags to Riches winning in 2007 and Palace Malice crossing the line first four years ago. Brands and Preakness Stakes brought an unsettling mix of excitement and anxiety for trainer Todd Pletcher. "We got exactly the position that we had talked about with Jose prior to the race".

Tapwrit then made his move down the final stretch, trying to catch Irish War Cry.

"That's always an advantage", Pletcher said. Hagiwara added, "The horse was close to being able to compete, but we ran out of time".

  • Julie Sanders