Tapwrit rallies in stretch to win Belmont Stakes

Assistant trainer Masaaki Minamida pats Epicharis as he grazed after it was announced that the horse was scratched from the 149th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race Saturday

Tapwrit also became the first horse to win the race from the second post since 1994, according to ESPN.

"We felt like with the five weeks in between and the way this horse had trained, we felt like we had a legitimate chance". I think that's every trainers ultimate dream. Patch came through to take third position.

Lookin At Lee - who entered the Stakes at 6-1 odds - was the only horse to run all three legs of the Triple Crown, and he finished in seventh place.

Patch, the 1-eyed horse, came rd, 7-3/4 lengths back.

Yes, there was only one true Santa Anita horse in Saturday's Belmont Stakes, and that was Santa Anita Derby victor Gormley, who finished fourth in the Belmont.

"The Derby win was awesome", he said. They had the right running styles, the right dispositions, the right pedigrees.

A year ago, a gray Todd Pletcher-trained colt was the pursued.

So this grand Long Island racetrack, the site of Triple Crown coronations for immortal horses like Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed and, most recently, American Pharoah, was more or less an audition stage for a bunch of unproven 3-year-olds, any one of whom might evolve into a future powerhouse.

John Malone is chairman of Liberty Media Corp., whose holdings include Sirius XM radio and the Atlanta Braves.

With neither Always Dreaming nor Preakness victor Cloud Computing in the line-up, the so-called "Test of a Champion" looked distinctly lacking in champions beforehand - a situation hardly eased when last year's leading two-year-old Classic Empire was ruled out with a foot abscess a few days before the New York Classic. The already thin group of remaining horses lost another one of its favorites when Japan-based Epicharis failed the pre-race veterinary exam.

Pletcher described Tapwrit's run as a "beautiful trip".

But as the footage above shows, we still got an absorbing race.

"We really were hoping that Always Dreaming could take a shot at coming in for a Triple Crown try". Drifting just a bit outside the sixteenth pole, Tapwrit nevertheless surged to the lead and edged away from Irish War Cry in the late stages to earn a two-length triumph in 2:30.02.

Jose Ortiz stalked the frontrunner, then caught Irish War Cry on the front stretch. "We kind of hoped that somebody else would go for it, but he had to go to Plan B and Rajiv did a great job".

Tapwrit, meanwhile, settled in third, right behind the dueling leaders. But Jose Ortiz went to the whip and pushed Tapwrit hard. "Turning for home I thought we might have it but it's a long way home". It's a tough race. He hasn't raced since finishing second in the UAE Derby on March 25. Gormley held on to be fourth over Senior Investment. That threw jockey Florent Geroux out of his crouch, which in turn led to him slipping his irons. He guided the colt to the outside until he could be stopped.

AAEP On-call vet Keith Latson said after the race that Hollywood Handsome had a laceration behind the left knee, and that Stewart requested a van ride back to the barn. "I nearly went down and I lost my stirrup".

Tapwrit's victory gave Pletcher two of the three races in the Triple Crown.

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