Tapwrit Edges Favorite Irish War Cry, Wins 2017 Belmont Stakes

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 10, 2017

ELMONT, NY - JUNE 10:  Jose Otriz is up on Tapwrit leading to victory as Irish War cry with Rajiv Maragh up is second in The 149th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 10, 2017 in Elmont, New York.  (Photo by Nicole Bello/Getty Images)
Nicole Bello/Getty Images

Tapwrit and jockey Jose Ortiz closed the book on the 2017 Triple Crown with a victory Saturday in the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. 

Race favorite Irish War Cry looked poised to win coming around the last turn. He owned a somewhat healthy lead and appeared in a strong position to remain in first down the final stretch.

Tapwrit was the only horse who remained within striking distance. Ortiz made sure not to push the colt too hard until absolutely necessary, and as he neared the finish line, Tapwrit surged ahead of Irish War Cry. Irish War Cry briefly ran neck and neck with Tapwrit before falling slightly behind.

Here's the final order:

Belmont Stakes Order of Finish

1. Tapwrit

2. Irish War Cry

3. Patch

4. Gormley

5. Senior Investment

6. Twisted Tom

7. Lookin At Lee

8. Meantime

9. J Boys Echo

10. Multiplier

11. Hollywood Handsome (DNF)

12. Epicharis (SCR)

ESPN.com's Lane Gold noted Ortiz's brother, Irad, prevailed in last year's Belmont Stakes, while Tapwrit is part of an increasingly successful bloodline at Belmont Park, per At the Races

ESPN's Jeannine Edwards tweeted that it has been a good Triple Crown for trainer Todd Pletcher:

The Triple Crown can be a physically taxing pursuit for the horses who take part in each of the three races. Daily Racing Form's Jay Privman tweeted that skipping the Preakness Stakes has been a fruitful strategy in preparation for Belmont:

One question coming into the weekend was whether the race could overcome a number of notable absences, in addition to the general disappointment created by Always Dreaming's eighth-place finish at the Preakness Stakes. The Belmont loses luster when the Triple Crown isn't at stake.

Shortly after the Preakness Stakes, the trainers for Always Dreaming and Preakness winner Cloud Computing eliminated the possibility they'd run at Belmont Park. A hoof abscess kept Classic Empire out of the Belmont field as well.

Now, with the Triple Crown concluded, the focus of the horse racing world will shift to the 2017 Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 4 in Del Mar, California. In last year's Classic, Arrogate surged ahead of California Chrome in the final stretch to prevail.

Always Dreaming and Cloud Computing should be among the contenders this year, and Classic Empire's hoof presumably won't be a problem five months from now.

The Breeders' Cup Classic will also provide a chance for Tapwrit to compete against the best in the world—something he wasn't afforded Saturday through circumstances beyond his control.

In 2016, the Classic awarded Arrogate's owners $3.3 million of a $6 million purse.