Preakness Stakes 2018: Justify wins thrilling stretch duel; Triple Crown bid intact

Watch the super foggy 2018 Preakness Stakes Justify wins again

Justify, who was favored to win the race, and his jockey, Mike Smith, defeated seven other horses.

Unbeaten in five starts, Justify can complete the coveted treble at the Belmont Stakes on June 9. The 2015 Triple Crown victor was also trained by Bob Baffert, who looks for his second Triple Crown victor in three years, after the sport went decades without one.

With five hours until post time for the Preakness, Kentucky Derby victor Justify is the 1-2 favorite after fluctuating between 2-5 and even money throughout the day.

"He got a little exhausted at the end, but he also was waiting on the competition", Smith said. Justify was the 5-2 favorite when he finished 2 ½ lengths ahead of Good Magic in the Derby two weeks ago.

Already Preakness runner-up Bravazo and third-place finisher Tenfold are lined up to find out.

The result hours before race time is a sloppy track and a very messy day for racegoers.

Justify is the 36th horse to win both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

The crowd in the infield and grandstand at Pimlico is far smaller than usual, and those heading to the tents and chalets must slosh through wet grass and mud. Sure enough, Cloud Computer galloped to victory as a 13-1 long shot a year ago.

"I wanted them to extend the race another 50 yards", trainer D. Wayne Lukas said.

"They tested his fitness today", Smith said.

"We'll go to Laurel, and we're still in the state of Maryland, and we'll give you a better, more elevated and prestigious experience", the 52-year-old Ritvo explained to a scrum of media in the press box at Pimlico Saturday.

With an announced 134,487 in attendance, the track that has stood just outside of Baltimore since 1870 is now at risk of losing the diamond that makes this rough shine, as the Preakness, which has been hosted by the legendary track since 1873. The mud built up from days of rain made that implausible.

Dense fog and a soggy track blurred ideal viewing conditions, but there was no mistaking Justify's run to victory in the 143rd running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

Justify wins the Preakness, staying undefeated and moving to within a mile and a half of the Triple Crown. If the weather doesn't influence the race — Justify is the heavy favorite — it most certainly could have an impact on attendance after the event drew a record 140,327 in 2017.

Trainer Bob Baffert, who also trained 2015 Triple Crown victor American Pharoah, won his 14th classic race, tying D. Wayne Lukas for most all-time.

Justify also has a nice streak going. The only unknown about the big chestnut colt was how he would react when pushed to the limit.

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