Tapwrit reeled in Irish War Cry to win the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, bringing the curtain down on the 2017 Triple Crown races. Cloud Computing, who won the Preakness but didn't race in the Derby, also is not at Belmont Park.
Ridden by Jose Ortiz, the Todd Pletcher-trained horse timed his surge to the line brilliantly, running alongside Irish War Cry and overtaking him before the finish line, winning by a couple of lengths. Patch, his stablemate, gave Pletcher two-thirds of the trifecta by finishing a late closing third.
In the 11-horse field for the 2017 Belmont Stakes, you wouldn't find either Always Dreaming or Cloud Computing. We felt that he'd done everything right on the horse and he deserved to stay with him.
The three year old division has taken significant hits due to the absence of top talent in the Triple Crown races, but there is still quality horses left in play and the Belmont never seems to disappoint.
"I don't think that it's been any secret that Jose has been a rising star for the last few years", Pletcher said.
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An embarrassing failure for England's most high-profile age group. Mawson said: "It got a little bit heated, really". I was so frustrated about the goal.
Irish War Cry inherited the role of favorite after Classic Empire was forced out earlier in the week with an abscess in his hoof.
"It actually wasn't our plan to be on the lead", said Graham Motion, who trains Irish War Cry.
"I'm hoping for a good result because he's getting good support from Japan, the horsemen, and the other connections, so I'm sure that Japan is hoping for a good result", he said.
The victor of the 149th running of the Belmont Stakes is Tapwrit, whose jockey is Jose Ortiz. A field of 12 is set to run the 1½-mile race, with Irish War Cry as the early 7-2 favorite. "You very seldomly just get to enjoy a win and not have a target right around the corner". Irish War Cry, who pressed the early pace at Churchill Downs on May 6 and ran 10th in the Derby, nearly went wire-to-wire in the Belmont with jockey Rajiv Maragh in the irons.
Pletcher's career stats in the Belmont Stakes now stand at 24: 3-5-3.
At 1¼ miles, the distance of the Kentucky Derby, Irish War Cry looked like a victor, and then fatigue hit him as if he ran face first into the Great Wall of China. I think so too, especially this year with no Derby victor, no Preakness victor. "At the eighth pole, I thought we might be home free, but it's the Belmont".
The colt is scheduled to ship back to Japan on June 15 at 4 a.m. They maintained that positioning onto the final turn when Ortiz first asked Tapwrit for his run.