Tapwrit wins 149th Belmont Stakes by dual lengths over Irish War Cry

NEW YORK — Tapwrit overtook adored Irish War Cry in a widen to win a Belmont Stakes by dual lengths, giving tutor Todd Pletcher his third feat in a final leg of a Triple Crown.


Ridden by Jose Ortiz, Tapwrit ran 1 1/2 miles in 2:30.02 on his home lane on Saturday. Ortiz’s hermit Irad won a competition final year with Creator.

“The distance, we was certain he could hoop it,” Ortiz said.

Tapwrit finished sixth in a Kentucky Derby and skipped a Preakness. Five of a final 9 Belmont winners followed that same path.

“We felt like with a 5 weeks in between, and with a approach this equine had trained, that he had a legitimate chance,” pronounced Pletcher, who is formed during Belmont Park. “I consider that’s always an advantage.”

Pletcher took dual of a 3 Triple Crown races, carrying saddled Always Dreaming to feat in a Derby.

Tapwrit paid $12.60, $6.50 and $5 during 5-1 odds. The 3-year-old gray colt was purchased for $1.2 million, creation him a many costly equine in a field.

Irish War Cry returned $4.70 and $3.90 as a 5-2 favorite, while Patch, a one-eyed equine lerned by Pletcher, paid $6.50 to show.

The $1.5 million competition took several hits before a starting embankment opened.

It lacked Always Dreaming and Preakness leader Cloud Computing. Classic Empire, a approaching favorite, forsaken out Wednesday with a feet abscess.

Epicharis, a early 4-1 second choice, was scratched Saturday morning after unwell a prerace veterinary exam. The Japan-based colt had been treated for lameness in his right front leg progressing in a week.

All that done for a wide-open race, and in a finish Tapwrit valid he was adult to a exhausting 1 1/2-mile challenge.

“Tapwrit was removing a pleasing trip,” Pletcher said. “It was all we talked about in a paddock before a race. We were anticipating he had adequate when it came to break time. It looked like Irish War Cry still had a small something left, though a final sixteenth, he dug down deep.”

Irish War Cry, who finished 10th in a Kentucky Derby, went for a lead and was immediately pressured by 13-1 shot Meantime, ridden by Mike Smith, who won 5 stakes on a undercard.

“It indeed wasn’t a devise to be on a lead,” pronounced Graham Motion, who trains Irish War Cry. “We kind of hoped that somebody else would go for it, though he had to go to Plan B.”

Tapwrit, meanwhile, staid in third, right behind a dueling leaders. They confirmed that positioning onto a final spin when Ortiz initial asked Tapwrit for his run.

It took a while for Tapwrit to find his best gear. Up front, Irish War Cry put divided Meantime and seemed a expected leader during a tip of Belmont’s prolonged stretch.

“At a eighth pole, we suspicion was competence be home free,” Motion said, “but it’s a Belmont. It’s a tough race.”

That’s when Tapwrit took adult a follow in earnest. It was a two-horse competition to a finish line, with Tapwrit gaining a lead in a final furlong.

Gormley finished fourth, followed by Senior Investment, Twisted Tom, Lookin At Lee, Meantime, J Boys Echo and Multiplier.

Hollywood Handsome was pulled adult after manoeuvre Florent Geroux mislaid his manacles in a initial spin and guided a equine to a outward until he could be stopped.

“I got squeezed flattering tough entrance into a initial turn,” Geroux said. “I roughly went down.”


Do you have an unusual story to tell? E-mail stories@tutuz.com