2017 Belmont Stakes Results
The 2017 Belmont Stakes (G1) was the 149th Run for the Carnations, and was considered by many experts in the horse racing industry as a wide-open competition with both Kentucky Derby winner (G1) Always Dreaming and Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Cloud Computing skipping out on the third and final leg of the Triple Crown series.
On top of both Always Dreaming and Cloud Computing not competing at Belmont, presumed favorite Classic Empire was scratched prior to Wednesday’s post position draw due to a foot abscess issue in his right front hoof, which he has seemingly been dealing with all year long. If the race wasn’t already lacking for star power, pre-race second-favorite Epicharis (4-1 morning line odds) was scratched due to lameness, cutting the race down to a field of 11.
By default, Irish War Cry was tabbed by most prognosticators as the favorite and for a majority of the race it looked like he was going to fulfill the potential many believed in him going back to the Kentucky Derby. Irish War Cry and jockey Rajiv Maragh set the pace from the start, with fractions of 23.88, 48.66, 1:14,01, and 1:38.95 through the first mile. He even led at the top of stretch during the Belmont, but Tapwrit was stalking him in second place and handled the last half mile better en route to surpassing Irish War Cry and winning by two lengths in a time of 2:30.92. Fan favourite Patch finished third.
Tapwrit was ridden by Jose Ortiz, who won his first career Triple Crown race. His brother Irad Ortiz Jr., who rode Lookin At Lee to a seventh-place finish this year, won the Belmont Stakes last year on top of Creator. Todd Pletcher trained Tapwrit, and it was his third career Belmont Stakes win. He previously won with Palace Malice in 2013 and Rags to Riches in 2007. Third-place finisher Patch was also trained by Pletcher. The Belmont Stakes-winning Tapwrit previously finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby and skipped the Preakness.
Tapwrit paid $12.60, $6.50, and $5.00 for the win, runner-up Irish War Cry returned $4.70 to place and $3.90 to show, while Patch paid $6.50 for his third-place show result. Tapwrit now has four wins in eight career starts.
Below are the full results of the 2017 Belmont Stakes:
2. Irish War Cry
5. Senior Investment
6. Twisted Tom
7. Lookin At Lee
9. J Boys Echo
*Hollywood Handsome – Did Not Finish
*Hollywood Handsome was vanned off post-race due to a small laceration behind his left knee. Post-race officials said it was a precautionary move and that he would be fine.
2016 Belmont Stakes Results
The 2016 Belmont Stakes delivered on the race’s long history of being a bit of a surprise. After all, the final leg of the Triple Crown is always meant to be something else.
There was hope that this particular race would serve as the next chapter in the awesome rivalry between Nyquist and Exaggerator. With the former out of contention, the latter was attempting to make a bid for the final two legs of the Triple Crown after storming the 2016 Preakness Stakes. Instead, the crowd at Belmont Park was treated to a shocking – and incredible – finish that came out of nowhere.
Gettysburg took the field out as a 55-1 longshot, setting a moderate pace of :24.09 in the first quarter. He was trailed by Destin at 8-1 with Exaggerator holding off as the 7-5 favorite in fifth place for much of the race. We’d seen this type of strategy from Exaggerator before so there was heavy anticipation that the Curlin colt would deliver another brilliant second half to save his Belmont Stakes day.
It didn’t happen.
Destin made his move at the top of the homestretch and looked like he was going to take the clean win after bulling past Gettysburg, who had led the entire way. But someone else had different intentions. Roaring from the depths of the pack, 10-1 outside shot Creator unleashed a sensational sprint to the wire to catch Destin, beating him by a neck at the wire.
Lani pursued on the outside with a late surge of his own and finished third.
Where was Exaggerator? After failing to fire in the final stretch, he fell all the way to 11th. No injuries were reported by the Desormeaux brothers, just disinterest from the favorite.
It certainly wasn’t the battle we expected, but Destin and Creator put on an explosive show that turned the Belmont Stakes into a memorable thriller in the final seconds.