Tuesday, 16 October, 2018


Justify captures Triple Crown, wins 150th Belmont Stakes

The macot cheerleaders and players for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish The macot cheerleaders and players for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Noah Ferguson | 13 June, 2018, 05:16

A plan will be formulated once the chestnut colt recovers from a compressed schedule that saw him win six races over 111 days since his debut on February 18.

WinStar CEO and President Elliott Walden indicated Sunday that the plan is to race Justify through the rest of the year, though his next start has not yet been determined.

The season-ending Breeders' Cup world championships are in Louisville on November 2-3.

"There's been tremendous buzz", track spokesman Darren Rogers said.

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who saddled American Pharoah to end a 37-year-old Triple Crown drought in 2015, thus became the second trainer along with "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons to train two Triple Crown winners, with Fitzsimmons having conditioned Gallant Fox (1930) and his son, Omaha (1935).

Justify, who cross the finish 1¾ lengths in front of 24-1 longshot and Keeneland sales graduate Gronkowski, is the 20 Belmont victor produced by Keeneland sales.

"I think they at least have to call in Geroux", he told Newsday. "We were in the office watching the replay over and over". We're just so proud of him. After winning the Grade 2 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, Vino Rosso ran ninth on a sloppy track in the Kentucky Derby.

Justify ridden by jockey Mike Smith wins the 150th Belmont Stakes
Justify ridden by jockey Mike Smith wins the 150th Belmont Stakes

Justify ran the longest race of the series in 2:28.18 and paid $3.60, $3.50 and $2.80.

"Standard procedure has the three stewards closely monitor the race as it is being run and to review the race on digital format in instances where the stewards themselves have concern or when an objection is leveled by jockeys or trainers competing in the event", a spokesman for the New York State Gaming Commission said in a statement released to The Post on Monday.

"It's wonderful", said Baffert, who had Triple Crown near-misses with Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998) and War Emblem (2002). "This horse overcame a lot". He pricked his ears at the sound of the shutter clicks and when Baffert led him closer, he playfully bit at one camera.

Justify, the 13th horse ever to win the Triple Crown, is partially owned by a company controlled by the top employees of Jewish investor George Soros. "But I can see the stewards looking into this over the next couple of days".

His human handlers also made history.

"He has natural speed", Baffert said.

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