Justify Captures Triple Crown With Win at Belmont

Justify is worth a record of $75million following his Triple Crown win Saturday

Baffert denied using Restoring Hope to protect Justify.

"If my horse would have broke on top, I would have been on the lead and Justify laying second".

"It is a tremendous honor for Keeneland to have sold racing's newest Triple Crown victor, Justify", Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said.

But Smith turned it into an advantage, gunning Justify to the lead and defying any horse to challenge. That's his job, to protect the other horse, and it worked for them.

"I was really happy with way he got away from there", jockey Mike Smith said.

At the wire, it was the European invader Gronkowski second, Hofburg third and Vino Rosso fourth.

"The plan was to sit off Justify", Baffert said, via Daily Racing Form.

Which is why there should be no surprise that the opening quarter-mile of the 150th Belmont Stakes last Saturday has become grist for post-race agita. Baffert then threw him right into the Grade I Santa Anita Derby, which he won by 3 lengths.

He told reporters he had an easy ride. "I probably expect them to look into reckless riding by Florent and bring him in to question him about what he was thinking and what his tactics were".

Baffert seemed to acknowledge that the plan for Restoring Hope was to lay in second for the first turn, but not as part of a plan to help Justify. But the horses slowed down the back stretch and Baffert liked what he saw on the timer at the half-mile pole. Superior horse. I mean, he could have won every race on the undercard today.

"There's been tremendous buzz", track spokesman Darren Rogers said.

"I was like, 'Oh, Mike".

"Opinions die", Baffert said. Justify became the first colt in 136 years to win the Derby after not racing as a 2-year-old.

In 2015, when American Pharoah won the Triple Crown, the Fighting Irish went 10-and-3 - falling to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl.

Wearing a white blanket advertising his status as the sport's 13th Triple Crown victor, Justify walked laps inside the barn before coming outside to greet a slew of cameras. Justify will continue to race throughout the year.

Justify is the first Triple Crown victor to face that many rivals in Belmont.

In providing a second Triple Crown in a span of three years, however, Justify has done his part to make the achievement mainstream once again.

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