Tapwrit rallies in stretch to win Belmont Stakes

$1.2 Million Gamble Pays Off As Tapwrit Captures Belmont Stakes

Pletcher can reflect on an exceptional season, as he also watched Always Dreaming take the Kentucky Derby. Irish War Cry is the most talented horse in today's field. He was second in the Derby and fourth in the Preakness. The final time in the 1 ½ mile race over a track rated fast was 2:30.02.

"I think he ran a sneaky good race in the Derby", Pletcher said of Tapwrit.

Monmouth Park's $1 million, Grade 1 Betfair Haskell Invitational at a mile and a furlong on July 31 looms as a high dollar possible for both Tapwrit and Irish War Cry.

Irish War Cry made the lead, set some energy conserving fractions, which basically took the late-running closers out of the race. Patch, the one-eyed horse trained by Pletcher, was another 5 3/4 lengths back in third and paid $6.50 to show.

Derby win was awesome, and the ebbs and flows of this game are well-documented.

Last year's 3-year-old champion, Arrogate, is now the best horse in the world and his first graded stake was in last year's Travers, so anything can happen as we head into the summer months. Especially with the Derby victor, the two-week turnaround between the Derby and the Preakness is a really short time for horses, but it's a pretty long 14 days for a horse trainer. They had the right running styles, the right dispositions, the right pedigrees. "We're fortunate it fell into place".

John Malone is chairman of Liberty Media Corp., whose holdings include Sirius XM radio and the Atlanta Braves.




The New York Racing Assn. had offered a $1-million bonus to any Japan-based horse that won.

Always Dreaming and Cloud Computing will likely line up for that one, while Classic Empire's camp will be desperate to see him get a big race win on the board in 2017.

Epicharis, thought to have a big shot to give Japan its first Belmont victor, was scratched the morning of the race when a veterinary exam revealed continued inflammation in his right front foot. The colt had been treated for lameness in his right front hoof earlier in the week. "Tapwrit was getting a handsome trip", said Pletcher.

"It was everything that we had talked about", Pletcher said.

"The horse was close to being able to compete but we ran out of time", trainer Kiyoshi Hagiwara said through a translator. And Tapwrit's victory over the gritty Irish War Cry was a popular one with the crowd of 57,729.

Running in first from the start, Irish War Cry seemed to have a shot at holding onto his front-runner status through the race's finish. Graham Motion said the plan wasn't for the son of Curlin to have the lead, but the trainer was not unhappy with the trip or performance by his colt. "We kind of hoped that somebody else would go for it, but he had to go to Plan B and Rajiv did a great job".

Tapwrit, meanwhile, settled in third, right behind the dueling leaders. Ultimately, it was the patience of Tapwrit that gave him and jockey Jose Ortiz the victory. Eight top three finishes are enough for him to head the field, though, and horseplayers betting on Irish War Cry will bank on him replicating his win at the Wood Memorial in April. "Turning for home I thought we might have it but it's a long way home".

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