HorseRacingFLA Staff Report
HorseRacingFLA handicapper and Tampa Bay Downs correspondent Bob Bauer and HorseRacingFLA editor Jim Freer both made winning picks in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes.
Bauer correctly predicted the one-two finish of Tapwrit and Irish War Cry. He recommended a Win bet on Tapwrit in the 1 ½ mile Grade 1 race, and Triple Crown finale, at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.
Freer had the exacta, and his selections also included Win and Show on Tapwrit and Win and Show on Irish War Cry.
He suggested $56 in bets. The combined payoff was $74.15, for a profit of $18.15, or 32 percent.
As part of a hedging strategy, Freer recommended a $1 exacta box that included Tapwrit and Irish War Cry.
He also had a $1 exacta part wheel with Tapwrit and Irish War Cry as keys—in the first and second spots.
The $1 exacta paid $22.60. We had it twice for a payoff of $45.20. Irish War Cry was the 5-2 favorite and Tapwrit was the 5-1 second choice in the 11-horse field.
Our only losing selections were a trifecta box and a trifecta part wheel. Neither bet had Patch, the third-place finisher at 12-1.
The Belmont result was a “Florida trifecta.” The first three finishers raced at Gulfstream Park or at Tampa Bay Downs this year.
At Tampa Bay, Tapwrit finished second to McCraken in the Sam F. Davis (Grade 3) on Feb. 11 and won the Tampa Bay Derby (Grade 2) on March 11. He was in fourth place after a half mile in each of those races.
At Gulfstream, Irish War Cry get loose on the lead and wired the field to win the Holy Bull (Grade 2) on Feb. 4. But he got hooked up in a speed duel and finished seventh in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream on March 4.
Patch won a maiden race at Gulfstream on Feb. 18.
Gormley finished fourth in the Belmont. He has not raced in Florida, and his Triple Crown preps were in California.
In the Belmont, our handicappers both expected that Irish War Cry would avoid a speed duel/meltdown and would have the lead entering the stretch and that Tapwrit would be in second place chasing him.
Bauer predicted that Tapwrit would catch Irish War Cry, while Freer predicted that Irish War Cry would hold on and win.
Tapwrit won by two lengths in 2:30.02 on the track listed as fast. It was the sixth fastest time in the past ten runnings of the Belmont Stakes.
Jose Ortiz rode Tapwrit for trainer Todd Pletcher and Rajiv Maragh rode Irish War Cry for trainer Graham Motion. John Velazquez rode Patch, who is trained by Pletcher.
Pletcher also trains Always Dreaming, who won this year’s Kentucky Derby (Grade 1) but finished eighth in the Preakness (Grade 1).
Neither Always Dreaming nor Preakness winner Cloud Computing ran in the Belmont.
Classic Empire, the second-place finisher in the Preakness, did not run in the Belmont due to a hoof abscess. He likely would have been the Belmont betting favorite.
2 – TAPWRIT 12.60 6.50 5.00
7 - IRISH WAR CRY 4.70 3.90
12 – PATCH 6.50
$2 EXACTA 2-7 PAID $45.20; $2 TRIFECTA 2-7-12
PAID $624.00; $2 SUPERFECTA 2-7-12-3 PAID $4,486.00