Justify's Triple Crown win caps a magical run for Canadian breeders

Adjust Comment Print

That's Bob Baffert's enduring legacy after guiding Justify to the 13th Triple Crown title in American horse-racing history on Saturday at the Belmont Stakes just three years after leading American Pharoah to the same result and breaking a 37-year Triple Crown drought.

Triple Crown victor Justify led all the way at Saturday's Belmont Stakes, but controversy arose Sunday after some raised questions about the role of another horse in the victory.

It was the second Triple Crown for trainer Baffert and the first for jockey Mike Smith.

Justify joins Seattle Slew as the only two undefeated horses to win the Triple Crown.

Gronkowski, a 24-1 shot trained by Chad Brown and part-owned by New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski, came from well back to finish second under jockey Jose Ortiz. He's got a brilliant mind, and for a powerful racehorse like him who has a mind of his own, he's still just eager to please. 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.

More news: Trump's Twitter rant against Trudeau garners global reactions

"I think everybody wants to see this happen because he's a attractive horse", Baffert said.

Justify, bred by Langley, B.C.'s John Gunther, took the Belmont Stakes by one-and-three quarter lengths today on Saturday.

Some had wondered whether the colt might show signs of fatigue following a busy schedule but that was not the case as he broke from his number one post position and was never seriously challenged by any of the other nine horses.

Mike Smith, the jockey riding Justify in Saturday night's Belmont Stakes, could have said anything in his first television interview.

Some clues might come from how trainer Bob Baffert handled American Pharoah, who got a bit of a break after winning the Triple Crown in 2015 and returned to the track on August 2 to win the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.

More news: Amazon steps up Prime rollout at Whole Foods

Smith said Justify was so calm in the gate that he was anxious he might not break. "And I thought maybe, because I could see Gronkowski flying, but he just couldn't get to that horse". The last horse to accomplish the feat was American Pharoah in 2015.

"When you're standing in the winner's circle in the Derby there's nothing like it, but this is kind of cool because I'm a New Yorker, it's a little special".

For trainer Bob Baffert, this is his second Triple Crown victory overall, and second in the past four years. "It was an fantastic feeling but I think it is going to take a while to really sink in". The only other unbeaten Triple Crown victor was Seattle Slew in 1977.

And even more so for Cambridge bloodstock agent Michael Wallace because he was one of those responsible for choosing racing's newest superstar from the yearling sales. Hofburg; 2. Justify; 3. It's rare to find a horse in this day and age that makes 6 starts in four months, period, let alone win them all.

More news: Super Mario Party Revealed for Nintendo Switch

Comments