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Keeneland Was First Public Stage for Triple Crown Winner Justify

13 June 2018, 11:53 | Joan Schultz

Owners Triple Crown winner Justify will race again The Associated Press 10 Jun 2018

Owners Triple Crown winner Justify will race again

Saturday, as Justify raced towards history at Belmont Park, fans of Notre Dame football were likely cheering for the horse to win the Belmont Stakes and achieve the 13th Triple Crown in the history of horse racing - a feat he accomplished.

Mike Repole, who co-owns fourth-place finisher Vino Rosso and last-place finisher Noble Indy, and Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez both found fault with the ride by Florent Geroux aboard Restoring Hope.

At one point, he said, Restoring Hope turned left in what seemed like a deliberate attempt to pin Preakness runner-up Bravazo on the rail and keep him away from Justify.

Restoring Hope, the other horse trained by Bob Baffert, broke out of the gate a few paces behind the leaders but quickly made a move through the middle of the pack as Justify stayed in front.

"Justify was on his game that day, so I don't think - on that day - anyone was going to beat him".

"He's even more magnificent than I thought he'd be".

A 37-1 longshot, Restoring Hope held the inside edge in second place for much of the race before eventually falling back to eighth.

Justify is set to return today to Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

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After he banked a $15 million purse for winning the Belmont Stakes, Justify's breeding rights were sold by the horse's owners to Coolmore for $60 million, according to an ESPN report.

"I'd never thought I'd be this close to the most famous race horse in the world", King said.

"Why would you send a horse that breaks bad and take everybody out, then come back in?"

Gary West, who owns Restoring Hope, was livid about the handling of his horse.

'I have no earthly idea what Florent was thinking or what his race strategy was, ' he said in an email to the New York Post.

In regards to when and where the colt will perform next, only time-and an expertly crafted plan from the now two-time Triple Crown trainer Bob Baffert-will tell.

Despite the allegations, New York Gaming Commission steward Steve Lewandowski told the Daily Racing Form that they don't plan to speak to Geroux about the race. "But I said, I don't know, three is a good number". "His only chance was to be up near the lead in the first wave because he's like a one-dimensional horse".



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