Junio 24, 2017

Japanese horse Epicharis scratched from Belmont Stakes

18 Junio 2017, 11:03 | Dolorita Barahona

Al Bello Getty Images

Al Bello  Getty Images

Jockey Jose Ortiz and Tapwrit riding to victory at the Blemont Stakes.

The 3-year-olds are taking on 1½ miles, one lap around the giant oval known as "Big Sandy", with a stretch run that would tire Usain Bolt.

ELMONT, N.Y. -? Belmont Park crowned another champion Saturday - just not one of the triple variety.

Star-on-the-rise Brown also seems unbeatable these days as he looms over the NY scene, and he will be defending his first-ever Saratoga title in a few weeks, having stopped Pletcher's domination with a record 40 wins last summer. Two of those involved oh-so-close photo finishes, when Commissioner missed by a head against Tonalist in 2014 and Destin was nipped by nothing more than Creator's nose previous year.

A month ago, trainer Todd Pletcher was dreaming of winning the 149 Belmont Stakes with Always Dreaming.

Tapwrit captured his first victory since winning the Grade II Tampa Bay Derby on March 11 at Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar. "I'm very happy right now". That opening price also ties Senior Investment to that trend of winners who had double-digit odds. Brands and Preakness Stakes brought an unsettling mix of excitement and anxiety for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Tapwrit finished sixth, 10 1/4 lengths behind his stablemate in the Derby, but had to steady early when Irish War Cry cut across the field soon after the start and had a less-than-ideal trip the rest of the way.

As disconcerting as those results were, Pletcher never wavered from Ortiz and the jockey stuck with Tapwrit.

"I was a lot more disappointed after the Derby, because I know what the horse is capable of, and [he] didn't show it on Derby day", Maragh said.

After not running the Preakness, this was quite the redemptive moment for Tapwrit. He's good from the gate. Irish War Cry is the most talented horse in today's field. They had the right running styles, the right dispositions, the right pedigrees. He said he felt good about his horse going into the post, and that his horse ran the race accordingly. Assuming he gets a better trip in a much-less crowded Belmont field, the two-time Grade 1 victor is a solid bet to finish somewhere on the board today.

Ortiz started his career in Puerto Rico in 2012.

Keep up with the race (or watch it live) with the TV channel and live stream info below.

Last year, Jose rode more winners (316) than any other jockey on the NYRA circuit. He was also a finalist for an Eclipse Award. He had been unable to train each of the last two days before the mile-and-a-half race. Now he won't ever forget Tapwrit.

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