Tapwrit rallies in stretch to win Belmont Stakes

Tapwrit rallies in stretch to win Belmont Stakes

Hopes of a horse from Japan winning the Belmont Stakes for the first time in the race's 149-year history were dashed when veterinarians scratched Epicharis on Saturday morning because of continued inflammation in his right front foot.

Irish War Cry is the early 7-2 favorite for the final leg of the Triple Crown series.

Tapwrit, ridden by Jose Ortiz, on Saturday won the Belmont Stakes, the third contest in horse racing's Triple Crown. "The last five weeks have been the ultimate roller coaster".

"Tapwrit was getting a handsome trip". Tapwrit also benefits from the training of Todd Pletcher, who found success at Belmont with Palace Malice's win in 2013. Even after a 10th place finish in the Derby, War Cry impressed in the Wood Memorial prep race and he was in prime position in the Derby, but it's possible he did not like the sloppy conditions.

"Well, this is our home base", Pletcher said.

The field was down to 11 horses after Japanese colt Epicharis injured its front right hoof ahead of the event. The Tampa Bay victor caught front running favorite Irish War Cry at the sixteenth pole before a raucous crowd of 57,729 race fans in the 149th Belmont.

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"At the eighth pole, I thought was might be home free", Motion said, "but it's the Belmont".

Hopes for a Triple Crown ended when Derby victor Always Dreaming finished eighth in the Preakness, which Cloud Computing won. This year the race will be missing some pretty big names from the previous two stake races, but it won't damper the atmosphere for horse racing enthusiasts. As the Wood Memorial victor separated himself from the field, Ortiz encouraged Tapwrit and the pair went after Irish War Cry. "We were hoping he had enough when it came crunch time. It looked like Irish War Cry still had a little something left, but in the last sixteenth, he dug down deep".

This is a wide-open class of three-year-olds, and Tapwrit, Always Dreaming and Cloud Computing have served notice that each of them can contend for Horse of the Year. Only 12 horses have completed the Triple Crown at Belmont - the last, and first for 37 years, was American Pharoah in 2015 while California Chrome was the last to be denied in 2014.

Betting on the Belmont in Japan opened at approximately 6:30 a.m., four hours before Epicharis scratched, so the pools remained open for the race. It's a tough race.

Jockey Jose Ortiz and Tapwrit riding to victory at the Blemont Stakes.

It was the second victory in five starts this year for the gray son of Tapit, who took the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby in March but subsequently finished fifth in the Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes and then sixth in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby. Jockey Florent Geroux was forced to snatch up and, in doing so, lost both of his stirrup irons. However, there were several very interesting horses racing on Saturday, including the one-eyed horse Patch, who showed in third.

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