Tapwrit wins Belmont Stakes

Neither Always Dreaming nor the 2017 Preakness victor Cloud Computing were in the field for Saturday's Belmont Stakes, the mile-and-a-half race proven to be the toughest Triple Crown event, and one of the most grueling in the sport.

Jose Ortiz was riding his first victor of the big race as Tapwrit outlasted Irish War Cry, who finished second two lengths behind. His sire, Curlin, finished second in the 2007 Belmont and produced the 2013 victor, Palace Malice.

Lookin at Lee finished second in the Kentucky Derby and fourth in the Preakness Stakes. Stamping himself as a Triple Crown contender after powerfully annexing the GII Tampa Bay Derby Mar. 11, the $1.2 million Fasig-Tipton August buy was a boring fifth in the GII Toyota Blue Grass S. and ran sixth with traffic trouble in the GI Kentucky Derby May 6.

"Well, this is our home base", Pletcher said.

Patch took third in the Belmont after being 14th in the Derby.

And in terms of double digit odds, Senior Investment was running hard until the end in the Preakness where he finished third gamely in from of top contender Lookin at Lee. He thought Tapwrit's run in the Derby was "sneaky good".

It was the first Triple Crown race victory for Ortiz, and it came a year after his brother, Irad, won the Belmont aboard Creator. I'm just not sure that's enough to be a factor in a race like this.

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association Top Three-Year-Old Poll lists Lookin At Lee as the best horse in the remaining field of 11, and his 5-to-1 odds, now second best, seem to reaffirm his favorite status. Irish War Cry became the morning-line favorite (7-2) for the 149th running of the race. Patch, his stablemate, gave Pletcher two-thirds of the trifecta by finishing a late closing third.

"The [Kentucky] Derby win was awesome, and the ebbs and flows of this game are well-documented".

Running in - and winning - all three US Classics in the space of five weeks is a demanding task. "My horse is doing well". We felt like both horses suited the mile and a half distance. "We're fortunate it fell into place".

He's trained by Todd Pletcher, one of the best trainers, and Velazquez has rode him before.

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

To make matters even worse, two year old champion and Preakness runner up Classic Empire has also been pulled from the contest due to an abscess that popped up after training this week. Scroll down to find information on how to watch the race live streaming online. Epicharis wasn't ready to run the 1½-mile race three days after the colt was treated for lameness in his hoof. "Tapwrit was getting a handsome trip", Pletcher added.

"We come hopeful, not expecting", O'Meara said.

Irish War Cry held on to finish second, while Meantime faded to an eighth-place showing. Trainer Graham Motion didn't plan on having the favorite on the lead so jockey Rajiv Maragh was forced into Plan B.

Tapwrit, meanwhile, settled in third, right behind the dueling leaders. They want to be in a tactical position.

It took a while for Tapwrit to find his best gear. "It looked like Irish War Cry had a little something left, but the last sixteenth, he dug down deep", said Pletcher. It's a tough race. He guided the colt to the outside until he could be stopped. "I think he has a win chance". "It's an unbelievable feeling that I can't explain", Jose Ortiz said.