Justify wins Belmont Stakes to become 13th victor of Triple Crown
13 June, 2018, 08:59 | Author: Amy Huff
The 3-year-old chestnut behemoth known as Justify sparkled around Belmont Park's 1½-mile track Saturday in 2:28.18, capturing the 13th Triple Crown in history.
When skeptics questioned his audacious ambitions for the late-developing colt, Baffert said Justify was talented enough to win the Kentucky Derby with minimal experience.
"Justify, you can walk up to him and he might give you three, four, five seconds and then he's done with you". But Smith turned it into an advantage, gunning Justify to the lead and defying any horse to challenge. "Now we can take a deep breath and just see how the horse is".
"The Triple Crown is over", Brown said.
Victor Espinoza, who rode American Pharoah to a Triple Crown, did a television commercial leading up the Triple Crown races this year.
He led from the start and was chased home by Gronkowski, formerly trained in Britain by Jeremy Noseda, with Hofburg in third. The trainer of both Justify and American Pharaoh becomes just the second to ever win the Triple Crown twice - "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons also did it twice, with Gallant Fox and Omaha in the 1930s. Gronkowski was second, and Hofburg third.
The way things went this year, don't be surprised to see Smith riding a good one in next year's Triple Crown races.
At the Kentucky Derby, Justify made fairly easy work of a muddy, but not especially sloppy track. Kentucky Derby and Preakness victor Justify will be taking to the sprawling oval to try to become racing's 13th Triple Crown victor and second in four years with a victory in the 1 1/2-mile race. "He's a remarkable horse to run in all three legs as well as he did". The next year, the classic rivalry of Affirmed and Alydar reached its peak when Affirmed inched ahead by a head to become the last Triple Crown victor until Pharoah arrived.
"I think he's the greatest of all time", jockey Mike Smith, 52, said about Justify.
Justify will attempt to join previous Triple Crown winners later this evening when he runs in the 2018 Belmont Stakes.
So what are the races Justify could participate in? "He's so gifted. He's sent from heaven. I was blown away", Mara said via the New York Post. "He ran great, but we didn't win".
Justify defied all the odds on his way to achieving Triple Crown immortality.
Since Wednesday, when Justify pulled up to Barn 1 at Belmont Park, minus the police escort that Pharoah had received, the trainerBob Baffert appeared at ease.
Gronkowski, named for and partly owned by New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, returned $13.80 and $7 in his USA debut after arriving from England.
Coolmore agreed to a deal to buy American Pharoah for $10 million before the Triple Crown campaign even began, but the three wins tripled the investment, counting bonuses. Gronkowski had won his last four starts in England, but had never raced on dirt or competed at farther than a mile prior to Saturday.
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