Bridlewood Farm, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, and Robert LaPenta’s Tapwrit delivered a decisive triumph in the $1,500,000 Gr. 1 Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 10. The gray Todd Pletcher-trainee wore down Irish War Cry to win by two lengths and give top sire Tapit his third Belmont winner in four years.
Race favorite Irish War Cry set the pace from the start while under pressure from Meantime, taking the field through fractions of :23.88, :48.66, 1:14.01 and a mile in 1:38.95. Tapwrit settled along the rail under jockey Jose Ortiz shortly after the start and tracked the leaders from there. Ortiz angled him out in the final turn and Tapwrit and Irish War Cry kicked clear from the rest of the field. Under hand encouragement, Tapwrit engaged the leader, who put up a good effort down the stretch but could not maintain his position. The gray colt powered past his competitor near the sixteenth pole to win.
The final time for the mile and a half over a fast track was 2:30.02.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling that I can’t explain,” said Ortiz, who gained his first Triple Crown victory. “I’m very happy right now. … The distance – I was sure he could handle it. It was a great training job by Todd. I always liked him and had a lot of faith in him. Today he showed up.”
The win in the Belmont is the second Classic victory for Pletcher this year. Irish War Cry held on for second, with Pletcher-trained Patch another 5 ¾ lengths back in third.
“Tapwrit was getting a beautiful trip,” Pletcher remarked. “It was everything we talked about in the paddock before the race. We were hoping he had enough when it came to crunch time. It looked like Irish War Cry still had something left, but the last sixteenth, he dug down deep.”
Tapwrit was bred in Kentucky by My Meadowview LLC and is out of the Successful Appeal mare Appealing Zophie. He was purchased for $1,200,000 at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale, where he was consigned by Denali Stud. From 8 career starts, he boasts 4 wins and a second for earnings of $1,143,902.
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