The 149th running of the Belmont Stakes went off on Saturday at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. While there was no Triple Crown on the line, it was still a very entertaining race. A solid crowd of 57,729 people showed up for the final jewel in the Triple Crown.

Irish War Cry was the favourite going into the race and he looked good early on. In a field that was tightly bunched together, he set the pace early. However, Tapwrit came powering through the second half of the 1 ½ mile race and tracked down the tiring Irish War Cry. Tapwrit eventually passed Irish War Cry and pulled clear, winning by two lengths. It was the first-ever Triple Crown win for jockey Jose Ortiz, who’s only 23 years old, whereas it was the fifth Triple Crown win for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher.

Tapwrit was followed across the finish line by Irish War Cry, Patch, Gormley, Senior Investment, Twisted Tom, Lookin’ At Lee, Meantime, J Boys Echo, and Multiplier. Hollywood Handsome didn’t finish, as he came close to clipping the heels of another horse early on. It took jockey Florent Geroux almost a quarter of a mile to get him to come to a stop. The bump resulted in a cut on Hollywood Handsome’s knee when it was all said and done.

Tapwrit won in 2:30:02, which was the first time a Belmont winner hit the 2:30 mark since 2013. It was a great run for the three-year-old, who didn’t have a good record going into the Belmont Stakes. He finished 10th in his first maiden try, then broke it in his next and then won the non-graded Pulpit Stakes. Following that, Tapwrit finished second in the Sam F. Davis (G3), then won the Tampa Bay Derby (G2). Things went south from there, as he finished fifth at the Blue Grass Stakes (G2) and then sixth at the Kentucky Derby (G1). Pletcher thought that the five-week break from the Kentucky Derby to the Belmont Stakes would be good for Tapwrit, and he was right. Along with a great job from Ortiz, Tapwrit came on strong down the stretch and showed a great closing kick.

Since American Pharoah won the Triple Crown in 2015, we’ve seen back-to-back years where three different horses have won the three Triple Crown races. Now, the attention shifts to the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Races and the Breeders’ Cup itself. We’ll see more Challenge Races this weekend, and the Breeders’ Cup Classic will take place on November 3 and 4 at Del Mar Racetrack in California.