Japanese horse Epicharis scratched from Belmont Stakes
Japanese horse Epicharis scratched from Belmont Stakes
18 Giugno, 2017, 04:13
The "Test of a Champion", as the Belmont is known, was anything but this time.
This year's Triple Crown bid was scuppered when Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming finished a distant eighth behind Cloud Computing at the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico at the end of May. Cloud Computing edged Classic Empire. The 5-2 favorite fought on for most of the stretch, but the final stages were Tapwrit's, as the Tapit colt powered past near the sixteenth pole to win by two lengths. The Wood Memorial victor should place somewhere on today's board, but I'll roll the dice on a long-shot to win and simply have Irish War Cry in my tri-fecta. His trainer Chad Brown has 20-1 shot Twisted Tom, who brings a three-race winning streak into the race on his home track. Ortiz's brother Irad won the race past year with Creator.
Jockey Jose Ortiz captured the first Classic victory of his young career.
There's no Triple Crown up for grabs this year - for winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes in the same season - but the 149th running of the Belmont Stakes represents a significant prize in its own right.
Tapwrit is trained by Todd Pletcher, who five weeks ago won the Kentucky Derby with Always Dreaming and his go-to rider, John Velazquez, who rode Patch to a third-place finish in the Belmont. He made sure to savor it.
"We felt like with the five weeks in between, and with the way this horse had trained, that he had a legitimate chance", said Pletcher, who is based at Belmont Park. "This is where I make my living". This is where my children go to high school.
Jose Ortiz was aboard Tapwrit on Saturday for the jockey's first victory in a Triple Crown race. I always liked him and had a lot of faith in him.
It took a while for Tapwrit to find his best gear.
This was the 142nd running of the Preakness. The colt was wiped out at the start, but managed to bull his way through an unruly field, getting bumped and pin-balled the whole way.
The withdrawal left the Belmont Stakes, the third leg in the U.S. Triple Crown, with only 11 horses in the field.
The victory gave trainer Todd Pletcher his third Belmont Stakes win.
"I think that's always an advantage", admitted the trainer, who is set to run American Patriot in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. The problem is that there's no value in taking him as his odds continue to drop the closer we get to Saturday's 6:37PM ET post time.
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