Miércoles, 19 Setiembre, 2018

Handicapper Brad Thomas Breaks Down Belmont Stakes Field

Galeno Paniagua | 20 Junio, 2017, 16:35

There was no chance for a Triple Crown this year - and the winners of Kentucky Derby, Always Dreaming, and Preakness, Cloud Computing, were both out.

While Irish War Cry was carving out fractions of 23.88, 48.66, and 1:14.01, Tapwrit and his rider Jose Ortiz were content to sit behind the pacesetters in third place just a couple of lengths behind. Before that, he won his previous three races and could get back to those winning ways at the Belmont.

All horses running at Belmont Park undergo the same pre-race evaluation to ensure they are fit to compete.

And Saturday was his time to shine, with a horse whose victory could be appreciated on many New York-centric levels, even without a Triple Crown on the line. Asmussen won this race with closer Creator a year ago, so it's not inconceivable.

"I was sure that he could handle it".

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The 49-year-old Pletcher may be a Texas native, but he settled into the biggest and best racing jurisdiction in North America nearly 30 years ago.

Although Always Dreaming proved to be an eighth-place disappointment in the Preakness, Tapwrit was everything his connections thought he would be on Saturday.

Front-running Irish War Cry finally shook off Meantime, the long shot who had pushed him hard for a mile, and Rajiv Maragh turned his 5-2 favorite loose.

That's unfortunately the case Saturday for the 149th running of the Belmont Stakes, the longest of the Triple Crown races at 1½ miles. "It's an unbelievable feeling that I can't explain", Jose Ortiz said.

"Each of these races individually stands on their own as major, major races and huge wins", Pletcher said.

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Pletcher's jubilation at winning his third Belmont Stakes was compounded by the performance of his stable's other runner, fairytale galloper Patch, who rallied strongly to finish third, five lengths behind his stablemate.

"Tapwrit was getting a lovely trip", trainer Todd Pletcher said. Gormley, meanwhile, is 8/1 to win the Belmont Stakes, followed by Senior Investment and Patch at 12/1, respectively. It looked like Irish War Cry still had a little something left, but the last sixteenth of a mile, Tapwrit dug down deep.

Meanwhile, Bridlewood Farm and Eclipse Thoroughbred's Tapwrit, a $1.2 million purchase, was training at his Belmont Park home base from Pletcher's shed row. Preakness victor Cloud Computing did the same. He said he felt good about his horse going into the post, and that his horse ran the race accordingly. I think so too, especially this year with no Derby victor, no Preakness victor.

Classic Empire, the Preakness runner-up and the expected Belmont favorite, was found to have a foot abscess on Wednesday morning and was withdrawn from consideration.

For those looking to lay some money down on the Belmont, you won't be able to wager on the two horses most familiar to you from this Triple Crown cycle.

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Tapwrit's career stats now stand at 8: 4-1-0 with earnings of $1,143,902.


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