And, as always, the Preakness attracted some Triple Crown newcomers like Quip and Tenfold to see how they stacked up against a Derby victor.
"He's just a great horse, to handle all that pressure and keep on running", Baffert told NBC of Justify after winning his seventh Preakness.
With Baffert praying for the wire at Pimlico, Justify won by a half-length after completing the race in 1:55.93. Bravazo edged long-shot Tenfold for second, and Good Magic was fourth.
Preakness Stakes: Justify on course for Triple Crown after victory at Pimlico
After winning the Kentucky Derby rather handily from the No. 7 post, Justify will stay in that spot for the Preakness, and he's a big favorite with 1-2 morning-line odds. The horse was a strong favorite in a small field of seven other horses.
Ritvo, who has helped revitalize Gulfstream and Santa Anita in the recent past, has moved his focus toward Maryland, where he feels, despite a lower attendance - and no infield to host a concert during the undercard of Preakness day, which has been a recent tradition - would be the more practical, more accommodating location for the middle jewel of the Triple Crown. Justify's trainer Bob Baffert was also part of the 2015 Triple Crown victory. Earlier this month, Justify won the Kentucky Derby.
"We made it pretty clear that we are not going to put any funds into it, because we don't have the funds to put into it. There's enough suspicion there".More news: Man on Orlando plane punches deaf pregnant woman, service dog
Goldberg later noted Justify looked in top form in his Thursday run at Pimlico, and explained fans should not be too concerned about Justify not being 100 percent. "I trust Baffert implicitly".
Baffert clarified to Business Insider that Justify had sustained a cracked heel, but believes it would not impact the horse at the Preakness. "It's all behind us, and we're on to Baltimore". He's very fit. As you can see, he's full of himself.
The superstar horse is drawing plenty of comparisons to American Pharoah. The Belmont, a grueling marathon, would be Justify's sixth race since he made his career debut February 18.More news: Oprah Winfrey Delightfully Surprised Everyone By Rolling Up to the Royal Wedding
Good Magic set out to challenge from the start, and the two raced neck-and-neck for much of the race with the Kentucky Derby runner-up even taking the lead at times. He's had a tough schedule. "He was kind of looking around and jumping around, but it was a good kind of exhausted".
"I have a really good layout in my head of what Laurel [Park] could look like with about 75-80,000 people [in attendance, ] continued Ritvo, when discussing his plans on more renovations". He's a superior horse, just like American Pharoah. The Preakness is now traditionally run on the third Saturday in May, two weeks after the Kentucky Derby, and three weeks before the Belmont Stakes. The horse was able to overcome injury prior to the Preakness, and hopefully will not have to do the same before the Belmont.
Pharoah's win at Pimlico was extremely similar to the one that Justify just pulled off.More news: EU To Use 'Blocking Statute' Against US Sanctions On Iran