Twelve months on, Jose Ortiz emulated his brother Irad in winning the final leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes. He steered the Todd Pletcher-trained Tapwrit to a two-length victory.
From the gate the son of Tapit was well away but took a trail from race favourite Irish War Cry.
Meanwhile jockey Florent Geroux was having an uncomfortable race and was very much a passenger after losing his irons aboard outsider Hollywood Handsome.
Strong travelling in front, Irish War Cry led his ten rivals into the home stretch and had a good two-length lead.
Ortiz was out after Graham Motion’s charge having urged Tapwrit along way before the turn in.
Well clear of the remainder, the two had it between themselves going into the final furlong.
Tapwrit gradually ate away at Irish War Cry’s advantage and got to the lead to win going away inside the final 100 yards. The one-eyed Patch ran home to finish third under John Velazquez.
“I’m very happy right now, very happy for the owners, for Todd, and really happy taking the opportunity,” reflected Ortiz.
“The distance, I was sure that he could handle it. We really like him I’ve always liked him and I’ve always had a lot of faith in him.”
A first win at Grade 1 level, Tapwrit could only muster a sixth-placed finish in a sloppy Kentucky Derby last month.
He marked himself as a horse with serious potential back in March when running away with the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby.
Tapwrit was given a beautiful trip
Pletcher said: “Tapwrit was given a beautiful trip it was everything that we talked about in the paddock before the race.
“Just hoping that he had enough when it came crunch time and it looked like Irish War Cry still had a little something left but that last 16th he really dug down deep.”
Tapwrit’s success becomes Pletcher’s third in the prestigious mile and a half contest. His first came with Rags To Riches in 2007, who sported the famous silks of Michael Tabor.