Tapwrit wins Belmont Stakes by 2 lengths for Pletcher

Tapwrit overtook favored Irish War Cry in the stretch to win by two lengths on Saturday, giving trainer Todd Pletcher his third career victory in the Belmont.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winners - Always Dreaming and Cloud Computing, respectively - both won't race, and early favorite Classic Empire also is out due to a foot injury.

The winning trainer, Todd Pletcher, is the undisputed king of racing in NY - and beyond, at the moment - and Tapwrit became his third Belmont Stakes victor, joining Rags to Riches and Palace Malice.

Tapwrit has won the 2017 Belmont Stakes, defeating favorite Irish War Cry. The Tampa Bay victor caught front running favorite Irish War Cry at the sixteenth pole before a raucous crowd of 57,729 race fans in the 149th Belmont.

He was examined by veterinarians from the New York Racing Association and the Japan Racing Association, but no details on his condition were given.

But as the footage above shows, we still got an absorbing race.

Part of Pletcher's program is to give his horses a little bit more time between races, and the five weeks between Tapwrit's sixth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont fit like a well-worn saddle.

The colt was the 4-1 second choice for the $1.5 million race. Up front, Irish War Cry put away Meantime and appeared a likely victor at the top of Belmont's long stretch.

The Todd Pletcher-trained colt used a strong push down the home stretch to pass pre-race favourite Irish War Cry and win by two lengths. "I think that's always an advantage".

The 2017 Belmont lost some of its worldwide flavor when Japan's Epicharis, the UAE Derby's runner-up, was scratched after a morning vet check revealed a right front foot problem had failed to respond to treatment.

Even so, 57,729 fans showed up at Belmont Park to watch 11 horses battle over a mile and a half, the longest race of the Triple Crown campaign. He saddled victor Always Dreaming in the Derby. Irish War Cry, who finished 10th in the Kentucky Derby, paid $4.70 and $3.90. "And we felt like with the five weeks in between (the Derby and the Belmont), and the way this horse had trained he had a legitimate chance".

Tapwrit returned $12.60 for a $2 win wager. Irish War Cry earned $280,000, while Patch picked up $150,000.

"We really were hoping that Always Dreaming could take a shot at coming in for a Triple Crown try". Because Epicharis was entered in the race, Japanese racing authorities allowed the simulcast to be imported into Japan for the first time, but the scratch of the horse likely significantly dampened the enthusiasm for the race in the country.

  • Julie Sanders