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vegassports-odds.com June 23, 2018


Lucky 13th Triple Crown had by Baffert's Justify

13 June 2018, 05:33 | Joan Schultz

Justify Wins Triple Crown With Dominant Victory at Belmont

Justify Wins Triple Crown With Dominant Victory at Belmont

He trained American Pharoah in 2015 when the horse won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes in Baltimore and Belmont Stakes in NY after a 37-year Triple Crown dry spell for thoroughbred horse racing.

The 37-year wait for the Triple Crown of horse racing, mercifully ended three years ago when wonderful American Pharoah crossed the finish line first at the 2015 Belmont Stakes, was at the same time exasperating, demoralizing, and borderline comical.

Prior to the Belmont Stakes, Justify's owners, WinStar Farm, China Horse Club and SF Racing, made a deal with Coolmore to sell the horse's breeding rights for $60 million.

Ridden by Mike Smith, 52, Justify is only the second undefeated runner to win the Triple Crown, after the great Seattle Slew in 1977, with Baffert the second trainer to achieve the feat twice.

ATLANTA-On Saturday afternoon, 11Alive Sports and NBC Sports will offer exclusive streaming access to the 150th running of The Belmont Stakes, the final leg of horse racing's Triple Crown series.

"It was a steep learning curve for me personally when we started buying horse in the USA market because it was all new to us", said Wallace from the Belmont track. Justify rewarded his sun-splashed backers with $3.60 on a $2 bet to win.

In doing so, he emulated Baffert's American Pharoah, who in 2015 was the first to land all three races since Affirmed in 1978.

"Did you see him in the gate, he's standing so still", Smith said.

Like "Big Red", as Secretariat was lovingly called, Justify (an even bigger "Big Red", at 16.3 hands and 1,380 pounds, compared to a typical 1,100-pound thoroughbred), drew the No. 1 post.

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Belmont Stakes: Justify wins Belmont to earn 13th Triple Crown in history
Add in the tight schedule of three championship races in five weeks, and it's the most challenging of tasks for any horse. Justify is taking on nine rivals, the largest number that a potential Triple Crown victor has ever faced.

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Won his first race on February 18 at Santa Anita Park by 9-1/2 lengths. He's been training at Saratoga since the Kentucky Derby and should be fresh after not running in the Preakness. Now just three years later, racing is celebrating another sweep of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont.

After winning the first two races earlier this year, Justify was the clear favourite to win Saturday's race in Elmont, New York. He defeated a deep crop, faced more horses in his three legs than any previous Triple Crown victor.

"Smith said that when he's mounted on his horse, he follows God just as he normally would".

Jockey Mike Smith, 52, is the second-oldest Kentucky Derby victor behind Bill Shoemaker. "I think I see a lot of resemblance in these two, the way they move".

One owner believes that there was something suspicious about how the race was handled by Restoring Hope, a stablemate of Justify's, with both horses trained by Bob Baffert.

Among the other horses scheduled to compete in the Belmont is Bravazo, who challenged Justify in the Preakness and was beaten by a half-length.

Justify held off a late-charge from Gronkowski, named after Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowskim, the the Giants beat in Super Bowl XLVI. "Had I known better, the first eighth of a mile I would have thought it was a quarter-horse race, not the mile-and-a-half Belmont". Vino Rosso is also owned by Todd Pletcher, who has three Belmont wins to his name.

"For him to close up that much ground off a really easy pace, it was a remarkable race that he ran".



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