Tapwrit beats Irish War Cry to win Belmont Stakes

Traces left in the clay by the wheelchairs of Japan's Shingo Kunieda and Britain's Alfie Hewett are seen during their men's wheelchair semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris France. Friday

Belmont Stakes Day Selections

Follow the action at the Belmont Stakes with our live blog. Five of the last nine Belmont winners did just that. Pletcher also won the 2017 Kentucky Derby with another horse- Always Dreaming. The crew breaks down the big horses missing the race, whether a "throw a dart" approach may be the way to handicap and hit some Triple Crown historical racing trivia. "I don't think it would be a surprise if either of them ran well". Cloud Computing, the Preakness victor, also will not compete in Saturday's race.

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

Jose Ortiz celebrates after riding Tapwrit to victory in the 149th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race, Saturday, June 10, 2017, in Belmont, N.Y. Brother Irad Ortiz Jr rode Creator to an upset win past year.

"I was sure that he could handle it". Once again, he's among the favorites at 5-to-1 odds.

Irish War Cry's trainer Graham Motion entered the race after his colt's disappointing 10th-place finish in last month's Kentucky Derby. Irish War Cry briefly ran neck and neck with Tapwrit before falling slightly behind. We felt really good coming in that both horses were doing very well. They had the right running styles and the right dispositions and the right pedigrees.

The race is open to 3-year-old thoroughbreds.

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

The colt arrived in NY on June 1 after a 24-hour journey from Japan that included a layover in Alaska.

It lacked Always Dreaming and Preakness victor Cloud Computing. Classic Empire, expected to be the favorite, had to be scratched earlier in the week due to a recurrence of an abscess in his right front hoof.

The field was cut to 11 when Epicharis, a 4-1 favorite was scratched from the race earlier Saturday after a veterinarian exam revealed continued inflammation in the colt's right front hoof. He left his base in Fair Hill, Maryland, early in the day and by the time he arrived in NY, his colt was the favorite in the 12-horse field for Saturday's race.

All that left it a wide-open race, and in the end it was Tapwrit that proved he was up to the grueling 1 1/2-mile challenge.

"When you make such a long trip with the horse, you need confidence in your horse", said Christophe Lemaire, his French jockey.

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