Sports

Justify wins Triple Crown with victory at Belmont

Justify wins Triple Crown with victory at Belmont

It will be the first time Justify runs on a dry track in the Triple Crown series.

He said Justify will likely race in the Traverse and the Breeders' Cup in the months ahead before likely retiring as a stallion at the end of the year.

The crowd of roughly 90,000 fans and bettors around the world clearly expect Justify to win the Triple Crown. "Smarty Jones, he had a lot of hostility". Baffert has won 14 Triple Crown races, equaling the all-time total of legendary trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

The win gave trainer Bob Baffert his second Triple Crown. He stood so quietly in the starting gate that jockey Mike Smith wondered if he'd respond when it sprang open.

So six races, six wins. Seattle Slew was unbeaten when he won the Triple Crown in 1977.

Justify has won the Triple Crown.

If Justify succeeds in sweeping the Triple Crown just three years after American Pharoah, it wouldn't be the first time it has happened close together.

The earth may not have shaken as in 2015, when 37 years of emotion poured out as Pharoah won. When Justify ran the first quarter-mile in:23.37, Gronkowski was 14 3/4 lengths behind the leader and eight lengths behind Free Drop Billy, who raced ninth in the 10-horse field. But it was unprecedented.

"Justify is a super horse". The horse ran a great race. That said, in nine starts he only has two wins and has never lived up to the hype that surrounded him as a two-year-old.

When Baffert left the paddock to head for the grandstand, he relayed to Elliott Walden of WinStar Farm, one of Justify's owners, what he had told Smith.

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"Today he looked fantastic", Baffert said.

Justify reached full speed at midstretch, and it was clear he would win the race and earn the Triple Crown. "It was just a great day, went smooth".

Gronkowski took second place and Hofburg placed in third.

The horse was the star of the show, of course, but Justify had all the support he needed to become the 13th Triple Crown victor, which he did Saturday with his victory over second-place Gronkowski in the Belmont Stakes.

Smith is clearly at the top of his game in a sport where jockeys are riding less and less in their 50s.

"It is such a surreal feeling and one that I'm still trying to take in", he said. "Then, he puts an old man on [Justify]".

Smith was brilliant, orchestrating the race of his life to become the oldest jockey to win a Triple Crown. Baffert, 65, gets another. Two weeks later, his shortest time between races, he captured the Preakness.

"It was exciting to think about what could be down the road with this horse", Brown said.

Justify always runs through the wire.

"It's been the longest, quickest journey", a hoarse-sounding Baffert said as light rain fell outside Justify's barn. In that case, the last Triple Crown victor came when Jimmy Carter was in the second year of his Presidency, the Shah of Iran was still in power, and the Soviet Union still existed and had not yet launched what would become a disastrous war in Afghanistan, and Grease had not yet been released in theaters.


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