Search
where the horse is always the hero
Article Item
Posted 2018-06-10 20:07:59  
Justify to Remain in Training

The morning after his breathtaking victory in the 150th running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes, presented by NYRA Bets, anointed him racing's 13th Triple Crown winner, a bright-eyed and bouncing Justify was showing no signs of the dizzying campaign that comprised six victories in just under 16 weeks.

"We were watching the replays of the race, and he could have gone around there again," marveled Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, who himself achieved an elite status among trainers as only the second - along with the legendary "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons - to saddle two Triple Crown winners. "Today he looked fantastic. He wasn't blowing after the race; he was blowing harder after the Preakness. That was the best work he had coming into all this."

Justify, a strapping chestnut colt with a big white blaze, regally obliged as he was brought from his stall to the grassy area outside Barn 1 at Belmont Park for assorted photo, television and video opportunities, including a segment that was to appear on NBC's Nightly News.

Among the visitors to the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont winner on a cool and cloudy Sunday morning were Hall of Famer Mike Smith, who at 52 is the oldest jockey to win a Triple Crown; members of the China Horse Club, which owns the 3-year-old in partnership with WinStar Farm, Starlight Racing and Head of Plains Partners, and thoroughbred owner Ahmed Zayat, whose American Pharoah broke a 37 -year Triple Crown drought under Baffert's tutelage in 2015.

"He's in that private, special club, the Triple Crown, and he established himself as one of the greats," said Baffert. "The thing about him I cannot believe [is] the way he walked in the paddock yesterday. He left the stable barn and I was watching the other horses and they were all skittish and he walked up there just like King Kong. He knew, like he'd been there. He's really intelligent and a smart, smart horse and he knows when to turn it on."

The trainer said Justify would be shipped from Belmont Park to Churchill Downs on Monday morning and get a "week or so" off before figuring out what would be next.

"We'll take a deep breath and see where we are," said Elliott Walden, president and CEO of WinStar. "[Bob] will get Justify right and then we'll make a plan. We're looking forward to sharing him more. He's become a household name and I'm looking forward to his next race as much as [everyone else]."

Justify, a son of Scat Daddy who fetched $500,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale in 2016, is the first Triple Crown winner to never have raced as a 2-year-old. He began his career on February 18 in a maiden race at Santa Anita going seven furlongs, next won an optional claimer at a mile, and then jumped into Grade 1 company with a three-length victory in the Santa Anita Derby. While his victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness both came over sloppy tracks, Saturday's triumph in the "Test of the Champion" came over a dry surface and was accomplished in 2:28.18.

"This is just a special case," said Baffert. "We got him in November after the Breeders' Cup and took our time with him, no rush, and he just came along himself and when he showed us, his first out, that brilliance when he broke his maiden and we knew maybe there was a chance he's going to be something really, really special. We just let him go race by race."

Justify is the only undefeated Triple Crown winner besides Seattle Slew, also a front-running Belmont Stakes winner, in 1977, and joins Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Affirmed (1978) and the aforementioned American Pharoah as the only horses to complete the sweep.

Belmontstakes.com

Image NYRA

Rate:
Email link to a friend | Printable Version
  • United States of America
    Displaying 10 ResultsSee All
    city of light brilliant in pegasus world cup romp2019-01-27

    Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren Jr.’s City of Light concluded his racing career in electric f...

    View | Add Comment
    two pegasus races for the first time. draw done.2019-01-24

    The two favorites for this year's Pegasus World Cup Invitational both drew well in a field of 12 Tue...

    View | Add Comment
    godolphin wins john deere award2018-11-16

    LEXINGTON, Ky. (November 16, 2018) – Bolstered by Breeders’ Cup Challenge victories fr...

    View | Add Comment
    enable, the world's best, makes history 2018-11-04

    The great Juddmonte Farms filly Enabled is one of eight horses who have won the famous Prix de l&rsq...

    View | Add Comment
    monomoy girl claims distaff crown at breeders cup 2018-11-04

    Monomoy Girl returned to the scene of her biggest win on Saturday and added an even more important v...

    View | Add Comment
    accelerate crowned at best on dirt 2018-11-04

    Every sport has a definitive year-ending event to crown its champions. In Thoroughbred racing, the B...

    View | Add Comment
    breeders cup saturday had 70 000 in attendance and crowned the best2018-11-04

    Following back-to-back Breeders’ Cup wins by Roy H and Stormy Liberal and a history-making win...

    View | Add Comment
    newspaperofrecord a star from breeders' cup friday 2018-11-03

    When the Breeders’ Cup shuffled its lineup and turned Friday into a day for juveniles, if the ...

    View | Add Comment
    jockey club gold cup 45/1 upset for discreet lover2018-09-30

    Uriah St. Lewis’s 5-year-old Discreet Lover, ridden by Manny Franco, shocked the 1 ¼ mi...

    View | Add Comment
    american pharoah yearling goes big at keeneland 2018-09-11

    The highly anticipated first crop of yearlings by 2015 Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year Ame...

    View | Add Comment