Lunedi, 23 Ottobre, 2017

Tapwrit wins 2017 Belmont Stakes

Tapwrit wins 2017 Belmont Stakes Tapwrit wins 2017 Belmont Stakes
Sveva Terracina | 20 Giugno, 2017, 02:02

Let's not keep anyone in suspense - a colt named Tapwrit passed the favorite, Irish War Cry, down the stretch and legged out a 2-length victory in the 1½-mile marathon in a final time of 2:30.02.

Jockey Jose Ortiz captured the first Classic victory of his young career.

The 49-year-old Pletcher may be a Texas native, but he settled into the biggest and best racing jurisdiction in North America nearly 30 years ago.

Tapwrit had finished strongly in wet conditions at the Derby and proved well suited for the longer distance at the Belmont. Past year his brother, Irad, won this race with Creator. Two of those involved oh-so-close photo finishes, when Commissioner missed by a head against Tonalist in 2014 and Destin was nipped by nothing more than Creator's nose past year. His sire Union Rags won the Belmont in 2012 after I'll Have Another scratched the day before his Triple Crown attempt.

There was no chance of a Triple Crown victor this year, but the 149th running of the Belmont Stakes still provided some drama. "So at least today he showed some of his true colors, so I'm really happy about that".

Jose Ortiz, NYRA's 2016 riding champion, was in the saddle for Tapwrit's fourth win from eight starts.

"I was sure that he could handle it". It was a great training job by Todd.

Patch, the 1-eyed horse, came rd, 7-3/4 lengths back. Then came a sixth-place finish at the Kentucky Derby.


The location is also meaningful for Pletcher, who works out of Belmont Park.

"That's always an advantage", Pletcher said.

It will be the 149th running of the race, which was first run in 1867 and is the oldest of the Triple Crown races.

His running style fits the Belmont winning pattern.

"When you make such a long trip with the horse, you need confidence in your horse", said Christophe Lemaire, his French jockey. We felt that he'd done everything right on the horse and he deserved to stay with him. "But in the back of my mind, I'm thinking, 'Man, if he won it, I'm wondering what're you going to do with Tapwrit?' But it's all good today". (His name is, ironically, not derived from the missing eye.) So if the Belmont belonged to anybody, it was Pletcher, who had won the race twice before.

Interestingly, five of the last nine Belmont winners did just that. He holds 26 meet titles in NY, including 12 at Saratoga. He was a finalist in last year's Eclipse voting for top jockey.

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.

Tapwrit, despite his lofty price tag, has been a work in progress since he finished at the back of the pack in a forgettable debut last September 3 at Saratoga Race Course. Now he won't ever forget Tapwrit. I think a lot of people would like to say they were there when that horse had its breakthrough race, so people should show up.

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