June 21, 2018

Justify's Owners Made Millions From His Wins

13 June 2018, 12:25 | Kristopher Drake

Belmont Stakes live stream: How to watch Justify go for the Triple Crown without a TV

Elmont N.Y. Justify will attempt to become the 13th Triple Crown winner when he races in the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race

"Oh yeah", exclaimed Baffert with that fun-loving grin of his, "the king is back!"

Justify led all the way to win the Belmont Stakes by 1¾ lengths and become horse racing's 13th Triple Crown champion and second in four years.

Justify improved to six wins in as many starts and joined Seattle Slew as the only undefeated 3-year-olds to sweep the Triple Crown.

The victor was chased home by Lonhro colt Gronkowski, who was making his first start for Chad Brown having previously been trained in Britain by Jeremy Noseda, with Hofburg in third.

Sixteen weeks ago, no one knew what to make of Justify - except Hall of Fame horse racing trainer Bob Baffert. "I thought maybe he's not going to break today".

"I think everybody wants to see this happen because he's a lovely horse", Baffert said. "I was going insane down the stretch".

Given the fact that only three years had passed since the last Triple Crown victor, there wasn't almost as much pre-race media hype as there had been in 2015 when American Pharoah won the Belmont to become the first Triple Crown victor since Affirmed in 1978. "It has a different feel". He did it with American Pharoah in 2015. Justify was anything but typical.

Prior to his victory, the thoroughbred had a spotless 5-0 record in his brief career and had won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.

Less than a month later, Justify became the first Kentucky Derby victor to go unraced as a 2-year-old since Apollo in 1882. The series of races last from the first week in May, until the first week in June.

It takes a great horse to win those two races, but it takes a legendary performer to win the Triple Crown.

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One theory about why the Triple Crown hasn't been clinched since is that priorities in breeding horses have changed to emphasize speed and attractiveness at sale, overlooking the stamina and durability required to win the Derby, Preakness and Belmont.

Give Troutt and Walden credit.

For WinStar to part with such a promising stallion seems puzzling, but Walden often says the operation remains viable because it's willing to sell horses, too.

The chestnut colt with the blaze running down his face appears to have rebounded well after victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, with the most exhausting still to come. He's the only horse with experience racing at Belmont Park, having won the Peter Pan there on May 12.

Elliott Warden, one of Justify's owners, called Baffert "the greatest of all-time".

"He's my Saquon Barkley right now", Mara said. This time, we're just looking back to a time when Barack Obama was still President and Donald Trump was not yet a candidate for President.

"There was no pace and nobody put any pressure on the horse and he kind of walked the dog going around there".

The 13th Triple Crown victor paused his morning walk to pose for photographs, looking fresher than any horse should after running three high-pressure races in the past five weeks.

"It always helps", he said. "My (late) parents are helping me and friends I've lost". "It was very intense, believe me".

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