Justify clinches Triple Crown with win at Belmont Stakes

Justify claims Triple Crown with Belmont Stakes winMore

Justify claims Triple Crown with Belmont Stakes winMore

"He's a remarkable horse to run in all three legs as well as he did". A plan will be formulated once the chestnut colt recovers from a compressed schedule that saw him win six races over 111 days since his debut on February 18.

It was Baffert's fifth attempt to win the Triple Crown - three more than any other trainer.

Baffert has said it would be a good thing if owners no longer feel they have to force a 2-year-old start for every potential Derby horse. But Smith turned it into an advantage, gunning Justify to the lead and defying any horse to challenge. "We thought he was that kind of horse but they have to prove it".

"You can't doubt him now, there's no way, " said Bill Mott, trainer of third-place Hofburg.

Sent off as the 4-5 favorite, Justify went to the lead out of the starting gate and led nine rivals around the track's sweeping turns on Saturday.

But Baffert also called Justify one of the all-time greats.

The morning after the Belmont Stakes questions quickly turned to what's next for the newest Triple Crown victor.

Smith said Baffert made his dreams come true. When he wanted Justify to run fast he would squeeze him, and when he wanted Justify to relax and fall into a rhythm, the jockey would move his hands down. But the horses slowed down the back stretch and Baffert liked what he saw on the timer at the half-mile pole. "He's now become a household name, and I'm looking forward to the next race just as much as you guys are". "It was going to be my friend or the enemy", Baffert said when asked about what other horses he was concerned about as the race developed.

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"The raw talent is there, " trainer Bob Baffert said.

"I was like, 'Oh, Mike".

"Opinions die", Baffert said. Justify ran the race in an unofficial time of 2:28:18.

No matter how it compares to the Triple Crown won three years ago by American Pharoah, it remains one of the most hard feats in sports. He refused comparisons between the two horses, saying they are different types of racers.

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.

But even the most optimistic projections of Justify's potential could not have accounted for what he accomplished on Saturday, becoming horse racing's 13th Triple Crown victor a mere 111 days after making his racing debut. Six races, six victories and only in the Preakness did he appear vulnerable.

If President Trump is looking for a way to fix his reputation with sports fans after disinviting from the White House the winners of the Super Bowl and the National Basketball Association championship, there's at least one athlete who can be counted on not to make any unwelcome political statements: Triple Crown victor Justify.

It was the largest Belmont field ever beaten by a Triple Crown victor. But just three years after American Pharoah reset the clock with his majestic performance at Belmont, the precocious, musclebound Justify shoved his way into thoroughbred racing's most glorified club.

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