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Tapwrit has overtaken favourite Irish War Cry in the straight to win the Belmont Stakes by two lengths giving trainer Todd Pletcher his third victory in the final leg of the Triple Crown.

The colt finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby and skipped the Preakness emulating five of the past nine Belmont winners who have followed that same path.

Pletcher took two of the year’s three Triple Crown races having saddled Always Dreaming in the Derby.

The $1.5 million race took several hits before the starting gate opened.

It lacked Always Dreaming and Preakness winner Cloud Computing. Classic Empire, the expected favourite, dropped out Wednesday with a foot abscess.

Japanese colt Epicharis, the early 4-1 second choice, was scratched on Saturday morning after failing a pre-race veterinary exam after being treated for a hoof problem earlier in the week.

That left it a wide-open race, and in the end it was Tapwrit who proved he was up to the gruelling 1-1/2-mile (2400m) challenge.

 
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