WATCH: Live streaming of Belmont Stakes, Justify's attempt at the Triple Crown
13 June, 2018, 05:29
What a ride it's been for Canadian John Gunther and Glennwood Farm.
What makes Justify's accomplishment more remarkable is that the horse became so valuable in 111 days from his first race on February 18 to Saturday, when he became the 13th victor of the Triple Crown. "Everybody was in tears, the staff at Glennwood, my daughter and even myself. He's just an imposing horse".
"I felt great, and that probably wouldn't have happened 10 years ago or 20 years ago", Smith said.
The family paired Justify's famous father - Scat Daddy- with their mare named Stage Magic.
"It's such an wonderful horse", said Gunther from Elmont. "I mean, they're a good combination and they got the job done".
It will be the first time Justify runs on a dry track in the Triple Crown series.
From early on, Baffert said it was clear that Justify was special. It's possible Justify could be paraded at the track like American Pharoah after he won the Triple Crown for Baffert in 2015. "You look at 170,000 people yelling and screaming at the Kentucky Derby and he doesn't even turn a hair".
Justify is a massive horse.
Those are the concerns, but for betting purposes, I truly think Justify is a freak of a horse and will contend in this race.
He is bidding to join Seattle Slew in 1977 as the only undefeated Triple Crown champions. He gave all credit to Justify, saying all he had done was "let a good horse be a good horse".
Justify's pedigree features plenty of Canadian content.
"They both could win the Breeders' Cup Sprint and the Breeders' Cup Classic".
Justify was a US$500,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase by China Horse Club and Maverick Racing. His mounts have earned more than $310 million.
If Justify wins on Saturday, he will have faced the largest field (nine) of any of the previous 12 Triple Crown winners. But it's a challenge Gunther welcomes. "When they opened the gate, [jockey] Mike Smith took him to the lead and it was history after that".
"We've just got to keep working and working and working and just try to produce more graded stakes winners".
"Mike great, obviously, and Justify is probably a great horse", said trainer Bill Mott, whose Hofburg finished third, 3½ behind Justify. The next year, the classic rivalry of Affirmed and Alydar reached its peak when Affirmed inched ahead by a head to become the last Triple Crown victor until Pharoah arrived.
"He was calm", said Gunther.
According to Sports Illustrated, the curse of Apollo was one of the "longest curses in sports". Sometimes the term "legends of the turf" is used too loosely, but it seems nearly an understatement when it comes to the Belmont Stakes. "He could have won every race on the undercard today". "She really puts everything into her foals".
Justify has won all six of his races.
If there's a common theme among the crowd, it's the desire to take a selfie to bear witness to their attendance at Justify's bid for the Triple Crown. "He's done everything I or anyone could dream of".
The left-hander denied it was a reality check, but admitted they deserved to lose. "I think it's going to be a good series". That is the bigger shop window rather than the personal side. "We didn't do enough to win".
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