Bridlewood Farm, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Robert LaPenta’s Tapwrit ran down 5-2 favorite Irish War Cry on Saturday in the 149th edition of the Belmont Stakes (G1) to give trainer Todd Pletcher two-thirds of the 2017 Triple Crown.
Tapwrit settle inside under jockey Jose Ortiz, tracking the pace set by Irish War Cry until the turn. The gray son of Tapit angled out and engaged the longtime leader, wearing him down and pulling off for the two-length score while finishing 1 1/2 miles over Belmont’s fast main track in 2:30.02.
Irish War Cry proved best of the rest, 5 3/4 lengths up on yet another Pletcher trainee in Patch. Gormley followed another 4 1/4 lengths behind in fourth, while completing the order of finish were Senior Investment, Twisted Tom, Lookin at Lee, Meantime, J Boys Echo and Multiplier.
Hollywood Handsome clipped heels going into the first turn of the Belmont, causing jockey Florent Geroux to lose the irons. Geroux managed to guide the colt to the outside rail and pull him up. Hollywood Handsome was vanned off the track and, according to the on-call AAEP veterinarian, had a cut behind his left knee.
Tapwrit is now 8-4-1-0, $1,143,902, in his career. He captured his stakes debut in the Pulpit Stakes last December at Gulfstream Park to wrap up his juvenile season and opened 2017 with a second in the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) in February before taking the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) by 4 1/2 lengths.
Tapwrit ran fifth next out in the Blue Grass Stakes (G2) and could only manage sixth in the Kentucky Derby (G1), which was captured by fellow Pletcher pupil Always Dreaming. The Kentucky-bred sophomore skipped the Preakness Stakes (G1) but easily conquered this “Test of the Champion.”