Tapwrit comes from behind in final stretch to win 149th Belmont Stakes

But Always Dreaming ran eighth in the 10-horse Preakness Stakes on May 20 and didn't come to Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, for the Triple Crown trail's third race on Saturday.

The road to the winner's circle in the Belmont Stakes ran through the Kentucky Derby - and Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar - even with the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winners skipping the final leg of the Triple Crown.

Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming and Preakness Stakes victor Cloud Computing were not in the field.

Hopes of a horse from Japan winning the Belmont Stakes for the first time in the race's 149-year history were dashed when veterinarians scratched Epicharis on Saturday morning because of continued inflammation in his right front foot.

It took a while for Tapwrit to find his best gear. "A mile and a half is a long way to go, but in his previous races he has shown us some stamina".

Jose Ortiz was on board the 5-1 second favourite - trained by Todd Pletcher - to emulate brother Irad Ortiz Jr, who won the same race previous year on Creator.

While there was no Triple Crown chance this year, the series delivered three quality races with exciting finishes to each.

"We were hoping he had enough when it came to crunchtime", Pletcher said. "It looked like Irish War Cry still had a little something left, but the last sixteenth, he dug down deep". Pletcher's career stats in the Belmont Stakes now stand at 24: 3-5-3. "The [reasons] I think he suits our style of training and he suits Tapwrit is he's a pretty aggressive rider, he's good from the gate, he's good at getting horses in position, and generally that's the way most of our horses run".

Tapwrit Trainer Todd Fletcher got his third career win at the Belmont after he trained Derby victor Always Dreaming. "I'm very happy right now".

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

"It's an unbelievable feeling that I can't explain", said Tapwrit jockey Jose Ortiz.

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

TV channel/schedule: Once again the race will carried on NBC Sports Network, the cable TV option for NBC's sports broadcasts. Scroll down to find information on how to watch the race live streaming online. 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. It's a tough race.

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

  • Zachary Reyes