Sunday, 25 June, 2017

Tapwrit Wins Belmont Stakes

Andrew Cummings | 11 June, 2017, 10:40

When is the 2017 Belmont Stakes?

New Mexico's own jockey Mike Smith was aboard the horse Meantime, but it would be Tapwrit who would emerge victorious after holding off Irish War Cry down the stretch. While Always Dreaming sat out the Belmont, Tapwrit and Patch, who finished sixth and fourteenth, respectively, in the Kentucky Derby and sat out of the Preakness, stepped in.

Pletcher took two of the year's three Triple Crown races, having saddled Always Dreaming to victory in the Derby. The field was missing the winners of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, plus Epicharis was a late scratch. Cloud Computing edged Classic Empire. That colt was a co-favorite at the Derby but got caught up in a collision out of the gate. Gormley finished fourth and completed the $2 superfecta of $4,486.

Unsurprisingly, Always Dreaming is the clear favorite for the Preakness.

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 a year ago on Creator. His father, Curlin, was second at the 2007 Belmont.

In terms of wagering, Belmont will serve up an full day of stakes racing.

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Epicharis made his last start in the United Arab Emirates Derby, finishing second. Hall of Famer John Velazquez preached his virtues after the race having to start from the outside post as he did in the Kentucky Derby.

It's not 100 percent that Epicharis will run Saturday. He was found to be lame on Wednesday and was treated with anti-inflammatory medication Wednesday and Thursday.

Epicharis' connections had hoped he would still make the race, but the colt had not been sent out to train since Tuesday. That was created to lure more competitors from the country.

Stablemate Patch rallied from well back to take third.

When the main event hit the track, though, with Frank Sinatra's traditional "New York, New York" piping over the PA, the 149th Belmont Stakes was all-New York, baby.

For Ortiz, who finished the day tied with his brother Irad for wins and atop of the jockey earnings at the current Belmont Park meet, the win was the biggest in his young career.

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