Tapwrit wins the Belmont Stakes as the days fantastic race card steals the spotlight
Rajiv Maragh and Irish War Cry sped up on the final turn and bolted down the stretch, but not far behind was Tapwrit and Jose Ortiz. As they raced towards the finish line Tapwrit and Jose passed Irish War Cry and Rajiv to win the Belmont Stakes. Irish War Cry, Graham Motion, Rajiv and the rest of the horse's team had no reason to hang their heads down. Irish War Cry ran a gutsy race and Tapwrit was just the better horse that day. They will probably meet up again soon in the Haskell at Monmouth Park. As I have talked about in an earlier blog, people are usually disappointed when there is no Triple Crown contender at the final leg at the Belmont Stakes. There should never be any disappointment. Besides the chance of seeing the best 3 year olds in the country race around the mile and half "Big Sandy," NYRA has created a fantastic race card. A card containing 6 grade one races, 2 grade two races, and 1 grade three race, and oh boy, these races didn't hold back and let the fans down at all. First, you got to see Bob Bafffert take all 4 stake races he had horses entered in that day. Baffert and his jockey "Money" Mike Smith won the Easy Goer with the horse West Coast, the Acorn with the horse Abel Tasman, the Woody Stephens with the horse American Anthem, and finally the Mohegan Sun Metropolitan with the horse Mor Spirit who definitely had the performance of the day. For race fans, you should always be weary when Bob Baffert comes to the east coast to be at the races. He doesn't come to watch his horses lose, I'll tell you that. Second, we got to see the best Filly in the land race, Songbird. Songbird won the Ogden Phipps, just one of of "Money" Mike Smith's five wins that day. Watching Songbird at the gate start was amazing. I've never seen a horse so calm in the gate. She and Mike Smith just patiently sat in the gate relaxed and ready for the race just like any training exercise. I have yet to see Mike Smith really ask Songbird for anything during their races. I really look forward to watching Songbird race more this year. Lastly, it was just a great day. Great weather, great races, great crowd, and a great first Belmont Stakes start by starter Michael "Pup" McMullen. I can't wait until next year. It was just a really wonderful day of horse racing. See you next time as we head to opening day of Del Mar, where the Turf meets the Surf.