Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Justify Wins the 13th Triple Crown in Horse Racing History

Justify Wins the 13th Triple Crown in Horse Racing History

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

Baffert joined "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons as the only trainers to produce two Triple Crown winners.

"If you're a superior horse, you can do it", trainer Bob Baffert said Sunday.

Justify is taking on nine rivals, the largest number that a potential Triple Crown victor has ever faced.

It's not hard for me to imagine Justify losing his dominant cruising speed for the final lengths of the race and getting caught at the wire.

According to Sports Illustrated, Baffert and Smith had partnered in 2002 on the horse Vindication.

Justify #1, ridden by jockey Mike Smith leads the field to the finish line to win the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 9, 2018 in Elmont, New York. Justify won that race, and he hasn't lost since, taking an allowance, the Santa Anita Derby, and now the Triple Crown in just six starts.

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Of course, the Haskell was also close to home for Zayat Stables, which campaigned Pharoah, and Baffert has mentioned the race already as a target for his other top 3-year-old, McKinzie. So, Justify's jockey, Mike Smith, would gross $80,000.

"I think he'll run big", Smith said.

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. The great Secretariat ended a 25-year drought in 1973 in record fashion, then, four years later, Seattle Slew came along to put his ideal stamp on the feat. "He's so gifted. He's sent from Heaven, I tell you what". "I mean, he left like he was going 440 yards in Ruidoso, New Mexico!"

As we reported in our Kentucky Derby story, though, the owner of the horse winning the Triple Crown can make far more money in stud fees than just from prize money.

"As I say, I've got to give all the credit to my daughter who planned the mating of Justify, and my staff at Glennwood".

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.

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