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Justify wins Belmont Stakes, captures esteemed Triple Crown

10 June, 2018, 06:27 | Author: Sylvester Abbott
  • ImageJustify ridden by Mike Smith began his Triple Crown bid by winning the Kentucky Derby on May

Here's what we know about how much money the Belmont Stakes winners get - and how much Justify and his owners take home with the Triple Crown.

JUSTIFY (c, 3, Scat Daddy-Stage Magic, by Ghostzapper) put an exclamation point on his meteoric rise to the top of the game with a wire-to-wire victory in the GI Belmont S., becoming the 13th victor of horse racing's Triple Crown.

Justify has already clinched victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, the first two races in the Triple Crown.

Justify has won all six stakes races he has run. Saturday's race will be run 45 years to the day that Secretariat ended a 25-year Triple Crown drought. Over a decade later, Smith is one win away from a Triple Crown thanks to Baffert's belief in the jockey. The Kentucky Derby is 1 1/4 miles, while the Preakness is just a tad shorter at 1 3/16 miles. Baffert, 65, had less than a year to train Justify who suffered a minor injury and didn't race his second year.

"It was the most impressive debut from a racehorse I have ever seen", Moss recalled.

Among those expected to be on hand is New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. "In the modern day we don't get in a rush with these horses", Baffert told USA Today days before the Derby. In 2008, Triple Crown hopeful, Big Brown's breeding rights were sold for $50 million before the horse had a lackluster Belmont Stakes race.

Justify started out hot on Saturday, taking a two-length lead over the rest of the field.

Gronkowski finished second, Hofburg third and Vino Rosso fourth, followed by Tenfold, Bravazo, Free Drop Billy, Restoring Hope, Blended Citizen and Noble Indy. He stood so quietly in the starting gate that jockey Mike Smith wondered if he'd respond when it sprang open.

"If you're a superior horse, you can do it", trainer Bob Baffert said Sunday.

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.



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