Belmont Stakes Winner Tapwrit Third In 4-Year-Old Debut Sunday

Winner of the 2017 Belmont Stakes, Tapwrit returned to the races on Sunday for the first time since a fourth-place finish in the Aug. 28 Travers Stakes. Now a 4-year-old, the son of Tapit made his annual debut in a one-turn allowance over 1 1/16 miles at Belmont Park, finishing third.

Ridden by Jose Ortiz for trainer Todd Pletcher, Tapwrit broke a little to the outside. He waited just off the pace of Hoffenheim, then drew up alongside the leader nearing the head of the lane.

“He broke a little awkward and then he put himself in the race,” Ortiz said. “That was very rare for him; that shows me that he matured a lot this year. I think moving forward we’re going to be fine with him.”

Tapwrit battled with Hoffenheim for the length of the stretch but was never able to get by. Meanwhile, race-favorite Timeline finished strongly to win by 1 1/4 lengths; Hoffenheim held second by a nose over Tapwrit.

“I was very pleased with his first start back in 10 months,” said Pletcher of Tapwrit. “He wasn’t standing perfectly; he kind of broke out a little and recovered quickly. He put in a good, long-sustained run. I think he’s come back in good shape, and this is the kind of race we were looking for to get the year started.

“I think he’s much more mature, mentally and physically, than he’s ever been. Obviously, he had a right to get tired the last part, not only with the layoff but also those fractions and carrying 124 pounds. Naturally, we wanted to win, but all things considered I thought it was a big effort, and, hopefully, a sign of big things to come this summer.”

Pletcher added that the next start for Tapwrit could come in the G2 Suburban Handicap on July 7.

The post Belmont Stakes Winner Tapwrit Third In 4-Year-Old Debut Sunday appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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