Monday, 19 November, 2018

Justify 13th Triple Crown Winner After Belmont Victory

Tenfold a three-year-old thoroughbred is looking to beat Justify at the Belmont Stakes Saturday running in support of Homes For Our Troops a nonprofit that builds homes for severely injured post-9/11 veterans Belmont Stakes 2018: The 6 horses that are the best bets to upset Justify
Rita Gibson | 10 June, 2018, 04:59

The trainer of both Justify and American Pharaoh becomes just the second to ever win the Triple Crown twice - "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons also did it twice, with Gallant Fox and Omaha in the 1930s. Once the horses come out of the final turn, they've still got a 1,097-yard (1,003 meters) run through the stretch, exhausting for a horse with little or no gas left in the tank. Smith will be aboard Justify in the colt's bid to become racing's 13th Triple Crown victor.

Take American Pharoah, who won nine out of the 11 races he entered, including the Triple Crown in 2015.

"It was by far his hardest race", his jockey Mike Smith said at the time. It's not as tough on him because he's a big horse. "There is no more deserving (jockey) than him". It may seem like those last few Derby finishers are just going to be also-rans, but anything can happen in horse racing.

Should Justify win the Belmont and become the 13th horse to successfully sweep the Triple Crown, it will be something to watch.

Since Wednesday, when Justify pulled up to Barn 1 at Belmont Park, minus the police escort that Pharoah had received, trainer Bob Baffert appeared at ease. The son of Scat Daddy had earned 100 points in the Santa Anita Derby, more than enough to advance to the Kentucky Derby.

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This was only his sixth race, and some bettors anxious that he packed too many races in the past 110 days.

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

After $2 exacta, $1 trifecta and $1 superfecta prizes of $69.60, $141.40 and $19,618.20 at the Kentucky Derby, Saturday's latest Justify victory didn't exactly break oddsmakers' banks. Two weeks later, Justify weathered torrential rain and a blanket of fog to win the Preakness Stakes, setting himself up for the Triple Crown bid.

Justify's victory gives racing its second Triple Crown victor of the decade.

"I wanted to see that horse's name up there because we know he was brilliant from Day 1", Baffert said.

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