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Justify wins Triple Crown, is Saratoga next?

10 June, 2018, 19:55 | Author: Tommie Newton
  • Belmont Stakes 2018: The 6 horses that are the best bets to upset Justify

Together horse and trainer then walked into Barn 1, tucked at the end of a lane that sits just inside the Belmont Park gates.

Justify scored a wire-to-wire triumph under Mike Smith in Saturday's Belmont, winning by 1 3/4 lengths to become racing's 13th Triple Crown victor and the second in four years for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.

But when Baffert led Justify into the barn, the Hall of Fame trainer experienced something even he didn't recall witnessing before. "It was going to be my friend or the enemy", Baffert said when asked about what other horses he was concerned about as the race developed.

Justify defied the hard post position along the rail, breaking well and taking the lead within seconds.

"Did you see him in the gate, he's standing so still", Smith said.

The Belmont Stakes has already seen a Triple Crown victor within this decade, as American Pharoah sealed the deal in 2015.

"I was really happy with way he got away from there", jockey Mike Smith said. "I tell you, it's just awesome".

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Baffert - who has won more Triple Crown races than anyone - complimented his team for helping the horse, which ran three major, testing races in five weeks. City officials say they will try to convince Justify trainer Bob Baffert to bring his triple crown victor to the Travers. He has won all six races he has run this year.

Restoring Hope, also trained by Baffert, ran interference for the champion while traveling second and deterring any threats by forcing them to go extremely wide.

Smith got the big colt into a relaxed rhythm under a moderate pace heading into the backstretch, and he had an easy trip from there. "He did it right up on the pace, and everybody had an opportunity to take their shot". "I thought maybe he's not going to break today".

There were mild bids turning for home.

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.

Vino Rosso finished fourth, followed by Tenfold, Bravazo, Free Drop Billy, Restoring Hope, Blended Citizen and Noble Indy.

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