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Justify Captures Triple Crown With Win at Belmont
13 June 2018, 10:21 | Charlene Valdez
Jimmy Barnes assistant trainer to Bob Baffert with Justify on the Churchill Downs backstretch June 11 Coady
Baffert had fretted after Justify drew the No. 1 post, a spot he detests for his horses.
"Today, he looked fantastic", Baffert said. But Smith turned it into an advantage, gunning Justify to the lead and defying any horse to challenge. "No, Restoring Hope, he has natural speed, and his only chance was to be up near the lead in the first wave because he's like a one-dimensional horse", he said.
"I was really happy with way he got away from there", jockey Mike Smith said. I felt on my watch, if he's happy, I'll keep him running. We're looking forward to sharing him more.
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. Galloping through fractions of 23.37 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 48.11 for the half, 1:13.21 for three quarters and 1:38.09 for the mile, Justify entered the far turn without having been asked for run, still two lengths clear of his stablemate and closest rival, with Bravazo hanging on in third. I tell you, it's just unbelievable.
Justify's hall-of-fame trainer Bob Baffert said the win was meant to be.
But Justify, like all the great thoroughbreds, found "another gear", Baffert said. Sent off as the 4-5 favorite, Justify ran the longest race of the series in 2:28.18 and paid $3.60, $3.50 and $2.80.
June 6, 2015 -American Pharoah wins the 147th Belmont Stakes and becomes one of only 12 horses to achieve the Triple Crown, and the first since 1978. He refused comparisons between the two horses, saying they are different types of racers.
Five (1930, 1943, 1946, 1973 and 1977) of the 11 national championships in Fighting Irish football history have come in years there's been a Triple Crown victor.
At 6-0, he's the second undefeated Triple Crown victor; he's the first to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont without racing at age 2; and he's the only horse to beat nine rivals in the Belmont with a Triple try on the line. Affirmed not only raced, but also won Horse of the Year honors, at age 4. Only Seattle Slew in 1977 was also undefeated when he won the Triple Crown.
The victory over Belmont Park's sweeping 1 ½-mile oval was the sixth straight for Justify, who joined Seattle Slew - also a wire-to-wire Belmont victor in 1977 - as the only undefeated winners of the Triple Crown.
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