Belmont Stakes

Belmont ratings down 15.6 percent

Viewership of Saturday’s Belmont Stakes broadcast on NBC and its digital platforms was down sharply from last year, according to figures provided by the network, as the race’s lack of star power took its toll.

Total viewership of the broadcast was 4.9 million, NBC said, down 15.6 percent from last year’s 5.8 million. The number counts those watching on television and on digital devices such as phones.

Tapwrit joins seven-figure classic club

Michael J. Marten
Fusaichi Pegasus, winner of the 2000 Kentucky Derby, was the highest-priced sales horse to win a classic, having sold for $4 million as a yearling.

Every year, a handful of horses are bought at auction for a seven-figure hammer price, and whether the buyer will admit it, the list of goals for the new purchase almost certainly includes winning Triple Crown races.

As uncommon as a million-dollar horse can be within a foal crop, one that goes on to win a U.S. classic has proven even harder to find. Tapwrit’s victory in the Belmont Stakes made him just the fourth horse to win a Triple Crown race after changing hands at auction for $1 million or more.

Tapit has third Belmont winner in four years

Barbara D. Livingston
Tonalist became Tapit's first Belmont winner in 2014.

Tapit keeps finding higher bars to clear. For three consecutive years, he has broken the single-season earnings record for a North American-based sire while leading the continent’s general sire list – this, after coming out of the gate by establishing what was then an earnings record for a freshman sire. The sire of several champions and classic winners, he reached the $100 million mark in career earnings last season, doing so faster than many of his contemporaries.

All-sources betting on Belmont Stakes declines 9.2 percent

Barbara D. Livingston
An announced crowd of 57,729 watches as Mor Spirit wins the Metropolitan Handicap on the stakes-packed undercard of the Belmont Stakes.

All-sources betting on Saturday’s Belmont Stakes was down 9.2 percent from last year, according to charts compiled by Equibase, with handle on the race suffering from a lackluster field that did not include the Kentucky Derby winner, the Preakness winner, the expected favorite, or any standout.

Belmont Stakes 2017: How the race was run

Irish War Cry breaks alertly and rushes to the front past the stands for the first time while Tapwrit uses his No. 2 post to establish position along the inside. Gormley steadies a bit after getting bumped at the start while Patch gets hung wide from his outside post. 

Future stallion Mastery arrives at Claiborne

Barbara D. Livingston
Mastery has arrived at Claiborne Farm with a likely future as a stallion.

The unbeaten Mastery has arrived at Claiborne Farm, looking to a future as a stallion after his promising racing career was derailed by injury.

Mastery, the winner of the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity as a juvenile, improved his career mark to 4 for 4 by winning the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes by 6 3/4 lengths on March 11 at Santa Anita. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 105 for that effort, still the top figure of the year for a 3-year-old male.

Holy Bull's sons and daughters will ensure his legacy

Justin N. Lane
Mor Spirit wins the Met Mile by more than six lengths on Saturday.

On a highlight-reel day at Belmont Park, one race stood out for Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.

“I really wanted to win this race for sentimental reasons, for Holy Bull,” Smith said after piloting Mor Spirit to a 6 1/4-length score in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap, his fifth stakes win of the day.

“This was one of his best races, and I wanted to win this one for him today, and he did it. I said, ‘Run one more for the Bull,’ and he did it.”

Bombs boost WCH qualifiers

On Saturday, Belmont Day, four more players won their entries to the $5,000 buy-in finals of the World Championship of Handicapping, which will feature a prize of $1 million and no takeout.

Dan Zaretsky ($115.60) was best on the back of just three collections. Place points on Sassy Little Lila ($8.40) got him going, but he vaulted into contention with Ascend ($57.60 win-place combined) in the Manhattan, and sealed the deal with Manitoulin ($49.60) in Belmont’s 12th.

Hovdey: For want of a healthy hoof, a classic was lost

Barbara D. Livingston
Classic Empire dealt with issues leading up to and throughout the Triple Crown series.

As a native Californian filled with empty regional arrogance derived from accidents of weather and geography, I was appalled at the results of the 2017 Triple Crown.

I mean, New York, wall to wall. Really?

Talk about greedy. New York’s already got Sardi’s and Seventh Avenue, “Hamilton” and the Guggenheim, Cloisters and Lincoln Center. What could it possibly need with another handful of horse-racing doodads? Window dressing at Tiffany?

Sparkman: Tapit joins long-dormant three-Belmont club

Justin N. Lane
Tapwrit wins the Belmont Stakes, becoming the third son of Tapit to win the 1 1/2-mile classic.

In the first 148 runnings of the Belmont Stakes only four stallions sired three or more winners of America’s oldest and longest classic. Sixteen-time leading American sire Lexington holds the record, having sired four of the first 12 winners (General Duke, 1868; Kingfisher, 1870; Harry Bassett, 1871; and Duke of Magenta, 1878), and Lexington’s barnmate at the Alexander family’s Woodburn Stud Australian sired three (Joe Daniels, 1872; Springbok, 1873; and Spendthrift, 1879).

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