Following his two-length victory in the Belmont Stakes (G1) on Saturday, June 10, Tapwrit was deemed to be in good shape the following the day, albeit a tad tired. Tapwrit suffered a few superficial cuts, but nothing too serious, and was deemed overall to have come away from the Triple Crown victory unscathed. To show just how fine he was, Tapwrit even awoke from a nap to indulge some onlookers.
For his trainer, Todd Pletcher, Tapwrit helped him accomplish a feat that hasn’t been seen in the horse racing community since 1996: he became the first trainer to win both the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Belmont Stakes with two different horses. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas accomplished the feat in 1996 with Grindstone (Kentucky Derby) and Editor’s Note (Belmont), while Pletcher earned the honors this year with Tapwrit in the Belmont and Always Dreaming in the Kentucky Derby. It was also Pletcher’s third career Belmont victory.
“It’s been an interesting five weeks for sure, and then you tack on the weeks leading up to the Derby and there is a lot of anxiety, a lot of ups and downs,” said Pletcher. “We feel very fortunate to have won two legs. I felt bad for (Always Dreaming) mainly, and felt bad we couldn’t deliver (a Triple Crown) for the fans. This is an awfully good consolation.”
Pletcher felt good about Tapwrit’s chances of winning the Belmont immediately once the gates opened, as Tapwrit jumped out sharply. Fletcher even thought for a moment his charge would set the pace, but he eventually settled into an ideal stalking position, before making his move in the final half-mile over pace-setter Irish War Cry.
“It was all about the start. At Keeneland he didn’t get away well and got pinched back at the start and was last behind pretty dawdling fractions,” said Pletcher. “In the Derby he was just unfortunate to be on the inside of Irish War Cry and took the first blow there and compromised any early position he could establish. Yesterday, he broke great and. … we wanted to be in that spot just behind the leaders.”
No official plans have been made for either Always Dreaming or Tapwrit, but the July 29 Jim Dandy Stakes (G2), the July 30 Haskell Invitational Stakes (G1), and the Aug. 26 Travers Stakes (G1) are all on the table.