Submitted by John DaSilva on Monday, June 12, 2017 at 11:16 AM
While after the fact every pundit and talking head had all the reasons that Tapwrit won, including the fact that Pletcher has been somewhat adept at cashing Belmont success with horses who skipped the Preakness after failing in the Kentucky Derby there is much more to the layoff AND even Pletcher has failed with it. While Destin ran second in the 2016 Belmont, Materiality was up the track in 2015
However, for any number of reasons (both generic and in regard to Tapwrit) I can only give you my reasons for not using him.
*I did not believe that the Pletcher layoff system was absolute BECAUSE if you go back to 2011 (you can go even further), each winner of the Belmont after racing in the Kentucky Derby had one thing in common. Their final prep before the Derby was a solid race. And given that, BOTH Tapwrit's Derby and the Blue Grass prior to that were horror shows. Among others that did not win off a par of sub par runs was Stay Thirsty (Pletcher) in 2011 who had a bad Florida Derby and bad Kentucky Derby before the Belmont.
*Given that Patch had a solid Louisiana Derby effort prior to his Kentucky Derby (Second in the Louisiana Derby) he fit the pattern.
*Of the Pletcher runners he also figured to be a much better price (Tapwrit went off at 5-1 and Patch at 12-1.) He did run a good 3rd.
*Also of the Pletcher horses Patch regained John Velazquez for Tyler Gafflione while Tapwrit was unchanged with Jose Ortiz.
*From a running style standpoint, in what figured to be a pace-less race, I thought Tapwrit's recent start troubles, not his fault in the Derby, was his fault in Blue Grass, would be problematic since his solid races prior to the Kentucky Derby and Blue Grass had seen him in contention early with good results.