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Belmont Stakes Draw: Justify Is Favorite in Bid for Triple Crown

07 June, 2018, 07:28 | Author: Tommie Newton
  • Justify-Baffert-060418-getty-ftr

Trainer Bob Baffert leads Justify through the shed row at Belmont Park on Wednesday.

Justify will run out of the No1 post in Saturday's 150th running of the Belmont Stakes and is a better than even money favorite to become only the 13th horse to win thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown.

The Bob Baffert-trained horse has won the first two legs of the US thoroughbred racing's famous hat trick - the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes - running from post No. 7.

Justify, who won the Kentucky Derby five weeks ago, is scheduled to train at Belmont Park on Thursday and Friday before his Triple Crown bid on Saturday.

The full slate of post positions and morning-line odds was revealed on Tuesday afternoon: No1 Justify (4-5), No2 Free Drop Billy (30-1), No3 Bravazo (8-1), No4 Hofburg (9-2), No5 Restoring Hope (30-1), No6 Gronkowski (12-1), No7 Tenfold (12-1), No8 Vino Rosso (8-1), No9 Noble Indy (30-1), No10 Blended Citizen (15-1). The Kentucky Derby's 17th-place finisher is at 9-1. We have it; we can't change it. "He still has to get on the plane tomorrow in Kentucky and we still have a few days left, but since the Preakness everything has been going smoothly". "We can not think of a better brand than Wheels Up to partner with a horse like Justify".

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Since 1905, a leading 23 horses have won from the No. 1 post. Lukas often observes that both accomplishments are gratifying, but is quick to acknowledge that the hunt for the Triple Crown keeps him motivated year in and year out. His 98 Brisnet speed figure in the Preakness is complimented by his 107 pace figure, which, when added together (205), nearly equals that of his Kentucky Derby performance (204). That certainly suits Justify - he has never been worse than second at any call in his five-race career nor has he been behind more than 2 1/2 lengths at any point in any race.

Back in 2003, Juddmonte's Empire Maker took home the race, spoiling the Triple Crown aspirations of Funny Cide, who finished in third.

In the past 20 races, every post from 1 through 13 has produced at least one victor, except for Gate 10.

Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group.

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