If you're looking for an excuse to party on Saturday, the Belmont is as good as it gets.
"The Derby was awesome, but the last five weeks were the ultimate roller coaster for us", Pletcher said. Obviously the third leg of the Triple Crown always has a bit of intrigue due to the length of the race. "The [reasons] I think he suits our style of training and he suits Tapwrit is he's a pretty aggressive rider, he's good from the gate, he's good at getting horses in position, and generally that's the way most of our horses run".
The "Test of a Champion", as the Belmont is known, was anything but this time.
Pletcher took two of the year's three Triple Crown races.
His sire, Gold Allure, is a son of 1989 Kentucky Derby and Preakness victor Sunday Silence. I need higher odds to like him here. Irish War Cry went into the Derby as one of the odds-on-favorites but only finished 10th. Ortiz's brother Irad Jr. won the race past year with Creator. Tapwrit will be among the top betting choices and Patch will be a longshot.
Drape: Stewart runs his horses when they are ready and often hits the board with boxcar-odds winners.
His latest triumph comes with a huge assist from jockey Jose Ortiz, who gave the son of Tapit an ideal ground-saving trip from post 2 in a field of 11. You can play it straight where you select the exact order of finish or you can box it where your selections can finish in any order.
A horse that cost a lot of money. I'll also consider Gormley in the mix.
The Japanese-bred Epicharis was scratched from the race early Saturday morning.
What does it mean when betting for more than the minimum bet? "It's an unbelievable feeling that I can't explain", said Ortiz. If I played it for.50, my total payoff would be $50.
Hagiwara trained 2009 Japanese Derby victor Logi Universe, the only Group 1 victor so far in his career. Before that, he won his previous three races and could get back to those winning ways at the Belmont. In the saddle, Ortiz kept composed, and once he moved his horse alongside the pre-race favourite, there was only going to be one outcome. The total cost of the bet is $48.
There are 12 3-year-olds entered in the 11/2-mile Belmont with the lukewarm favorite being the Graham Motion-trained Irish War Cry, who is 7-2.
Betting stations were packed throughout the afternoon and evening, as horse racing fanatics and partiers alike sipped on light beer, margaritas, wine and, of course, Belmont Jewel cocktails - a blend of whiskey, lemonade, pomegranate juice and lemon zest that could be served in lively souvenir glasses for the reasonable price of $20. "So if he can stay, it's really his race to lose, I believe".