This past weekend we witnessed another feat in the horse racing world when Justify became the second undefeated horse ever to win the Triple Crown. Even jockey Mike Smith got in on the record-breaking action being the oldest jockey to ever win the Triple Crown at age 52. It was a beautiful day for racing and fans got to witness history when Justify took home the win.
Justify is a 3-year-old Kentucky breed colt now known as the 13th Triple Crown winner after his amazing run this past year and his solidifying win at the Belmont Stakes. Justify started racing in 2018 after he was sold to several investment groups for a total of 500k. His dad was a racehorse named Scat Daddy, who did well but only won a couple of major horse racing events. He was initially sent to trainer Rodolphe Brisset, but after suffering a pulling muscle, he was then sent to Bob Baffert in Santa Anita. Bob received the horse in January of 2018 and immediately started training the horse for the 2018 upcoming competitions.
Justify had 3 contending races before the Kentucky Derby, and managed to win all three races. His wins qualified him for the Kentucky Derby, and once at the Derby, he was ranked as a leading contender despite never racing in a stakes company. The 3 preceding winning races helped solidify that status. The 2018 Kentucky Derby ended up being a rainy day and a race on a super wet racetrack but despite the bad weather, Justify took home the win to set up his Triple Crown run.
The Preakness Stakes took place on May 19th at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore Maryland. Conditions mimicked the earlier Kentucky Derby race with a muddy track and low visibility. Justify jumped into an early lead out of the gates but was challenged down the stretch and only ended up winning by a ½ a length. This win kept his Triple Crown hopes alive and made him a heavy favorite for the Belmont Stakes.
Belmont Stakes Names A Triple Crown Winner
The Belmont Stakes took place June 9th, 2018 at Belmont Park in Elmont NY. The Belmont is the 3rd and final race that makes up the Triple Crown. The Belmont is a 1.5-mile (2,400m) race that is sometimes referred to as the test of a champion. Despite having the two previous races in the rain and mud the Belmont ended up being an almost picture-perfect day with clear skies and cool temperatures. After winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, Justify was a favorite to win but would have to face some tough competition to win the Triple Crown. Justify drew post 1 so he was hunkered down near the rail. Justify got a good jump and pretty much won the race right out the gate. He won the race and the triple crown by a length of 1 ¾ over Gronkowski. Justify completed the race in 2:28.18. His win made him the second undefeated horse ever to win a Triple Crown and only the second horse to win the Triple Crown in the last 39 years.
Bob Baffert is an American racehorse trainer that has trained the last two Triple Crown winners, Justify and American Pharaoh. On top of that other horses that he has trained has won a total of 18 major events. With his second winning Triple Crown horse, many people are starting to say Bob is the best trainer the sport has ever seen. Baffert has over 40 years’ experience with racehorses dating back to his early days. The man has dedicated his life to horses and the rewards are starting to come in. Combining all levels, he has 2,800+ wins and counting.
What’s Next For Justify?
Justify just started racing in 2018 and by June has already won $3.8m on the track. It is likely that he will continue racing until the end of this season like American Pharaoh did or he might get sent to the breeding shed. After his Triple Crown win, Justify’s value jumped tremendously and the desire for his lineage increased as well. Experts are putting an estimated $100m value on the horse now that he has come out the gates running.
Online racebooks had Justify a favorite throughout the 3 Triple Crown races. While he was not a heavy favorite till the Belmont Stakes. By that time Justify had already won 5 races in a row up against most of the competition that he was facing at the Belmont. Online horse race betting is legal in the USA and bettors can get in on the action by following the link to see our top-rated suggestions for USA players. While this year’s Triple Crown is over there are still several more major competitions. It will be interesting to see what Justify will do now that he has achieved the highest stature in the sport of horse racing.