March 21, 2018
The Belmont Stakes
Tapwrit, ridden by jockey Jose L. Ortiz, wins the 149th Belmont Stakes, Saturday, June 10, 2017, at Belmont Park in Elmont, NY. Longines is the Official Watch and Timekeeper of the Triple Crown. (Photo by Diane Bondareff/AP Images for Longines)
This year’s race included:
Number one, Twisted Tom, trained by Chad C. Brown with Javier Castellano in the irons.
Number two, Tapwrit, trained by Todd Pletcher with jockey Jose Ortiz.
Number three, Gormley, trained by John A. Shirreffs with jockey Victor Espinoza.
Number four, J Boys Echo, trained by Dale L. Romans and ridden by Robby Albarado.
Number five, Hollywood Handsome, trained by Dallas Stewart and ridden by Florent Geroux.
Number six, Lookin At Lee, trained by Steven Asmussen and ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Number seven, Irish War Cry, trained by Graham Motion and ridden by Rajiv Maragh.
Number eight, Senior Investment, trained by Kenneth McPeek under jockey Channing Hill.
Number nine, Meantime, trained by Brian Lynch and jockeyed by Mike Smith.
Number ten, Multiplier, trained by Brendan Walsh under jockey Joel Rosario.
And number twelve, Patch, also trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John Velazquez. (Epicharis, number eleven, was scratched Saturday morning due to continuing inflammation in his right front hoof.)
Both Irish War Cry and Tapwrit had good starts out of the gates. Hollywood Handsome had early “traffic trouble” and jockey Florent Geroux lost his stirrups. But Hollywood Handsome kept running, with the jockey riding without stirrups from the first turn onward. The horse ran up to third position as they went into the backstretch, but soon after dropped out of the field. Meanwhile, Irish War Cry and Meantime were stride-for-stride in the lead after the first turn, with Patch about two lengths off the lead.
Tapwrit started moving up on the rail challenging front-runner Irish War Cry, as Meantime started to lose ground. Coming around the turn to the stretch for home, the two were only a half-length apart, well ahead of Gormley and Patch. Just before the wire, Tapwrit and Irish War Cry were headed toward the finish line together when Tapwrit took the lead on the outside. In a dramatic final stretch, Tapwrit, under jockey Jose Ortiz, made a late surge to overtake the Irish War Cry and win the Belmont Stakes!
Coming in third was the one-eyed colt Patch, who had finished 14th in the Kentucky Derby, and Gormley was fourth.
More about the horses:
The flashy chestnut Twisted Tom is a son of Creative Cause.
Tapwrit is a son of leading sire Tapit, who has sired two Belmont Stakes winners: Tonalist (2014) and Creator (2016). Tapwrit placed sixth at the Kentucky Derby, losing to his stable mate Always Dreaming. He did not run in the Preakness.
Gormley finished ninth in the Kentucky Derby, but won the Santa Anita Derby to qualify for Kentucky.
J Boys Echo is a Mineshaft colt who won the Gotham Stakes to qualify for the Kentucky Derby. He did not run in the Preakness.
Hollywood Handsome is a grandson of Tapit, and shares some lineage with last year’s Belmont Stakes winner, and son of Tapit, creator. He is a coming three-year-old colt.
Lookin At Lee finished second in the Kentucky Derby and was third in the Arkansas Derby. He placed fourth in the Preakness. His lineage is from a full sister to Fair Play, who is the sire of Man O’War.
Irish War Cry is a flashy chestnut son of Curlin, bred in New Jersey.
Senior Investment did not run in the Kentucky Derby, but ran in the Stonestreet Lexington Stakes instead and won the race. He was third in the Preakness.
Meantime ran in the Peter Pan as a prelude to the Belmont Stakes. He took an early lead on a sloppy track, but in the final turn, failed to hold the lead and finished in second.
Multiplier did not run as a two-year-old, but started racing in 2017. He won the Illinois Derby in April and came in sixth in the Preakness.
Patch, the one-eyed wonder, had his left eye removed as a two-year-old after a bout with chronic inflammation. He missed his two-year-old racing debut, but came in second in the Louisiana Derby to qualify for the Kentucky Derby. Even though he finished 14th in the Derby, he has touched the hearts of fans across the country. Patch’s grandmother is a full sister to Banshee Breeze, 1998 champion three-year-old filly. And Tamerett appears on each side of Patch’s pedigree.
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