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Justify Wins Belmont Stakes to Become 13th Triple Crown Winner

12 June, 2018, 11:13 | Author: Tommie Newton
  • ImageJustify ridden by Mike Smith began his Triple Crown bid by winning the Kentucky Derby on May

The win also marks the second time that Bob Baffert has trained a Triple Crown victor, making him only the second trainer ever to have achieved that distinction twice and coming just three years his American Pharoah managed the rare feat.

Justify, who is 6-0 and is the first horse to sweep the series without racing at age 2, beat nine others to win - more competition than any other Triple Crown victor has beaten in the Belmont. Before American Pharoah, he had won the first two legs of the Triple Crown three times, with Silver Charm, in 1997, Real Quiet (1998) and Point Given (2001) and failed to complete the feat before American Pharoah did it to become the first Triple Crown victor in 37 years, since Affirmed in 1978.

Bob Baffert became only the second trainer in history to win the Triple Crown twice. The chestnut colt with a pronounced white blaze won on slop at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness; even on a faster track on a clear day at Belmont, his opponents couldn't outrun him.

There was one horse, however, who was a threat to Justify's Triple Crown bid at the top of the Belmont Park stretch.

Hofburg, who entered the race as oddsmakers' No. 2 choice, finished in third, while Vino Rosso, a popular Kentucky Derby sleeper, came in at fourth.

He won the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville on May 5, becoming the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the "Run for the Roses" without a start as a two-year-old, breaking the so-called "Curse of Apollo".

At the moment, the racing world can't get enough of Justify.

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Minutes after Justify's 2018 Belmont Stakes win, Elliott Walden, president and CEO of managing partner WinStar Farm, was asked whether he would comment about the massive reported breeding rights deal with Coolmore.

Gronkowski, named for and partly owned by the New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, returned $13.80 and $7. The reported sale included a $15 million Triple Crown bonus that pushed it to a record $75 million total. "We had Point Given, I really thought he could have easily been here [as a Triple Crown winner]".

"It never gets old".

Justify, the first to win the Triple Crown after not having raced as a 2-year-old, owned Belmont from the moment he arrived on Wednesday.

"It was meant to be", Baffert said. Then jockey Mike Smith picked him up midway through the sweeping Belmont turn and nobody could catch him. We saw another Triple Crown victor.

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

'Justify's a freak, super horse, undefeated, fantastic what he's done, ' Repole told DFR. He's sent from heaven, it's just unbelievable. American Pharoah, he'll always be my first love and for this horse to do it, and for Mike Smith - Mike deserves something like this. I wanted to see that horse, his name up there with those greats. I got very emotional, because I really think - I'm getting help upstairs.

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