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Triple Crown Attempt A Big Win For NYRA

07 June, 2018, 07:28 | Author: Candice Daniels
  • Gronkowski ready root for ‘beast of a horse’ in Belmont 2018

Trainer Bob Baffert leads Justify through the shed row at Belmont Park on Wednesday.

Belmont Week is here, and on Tuesday we'll find out which post Justify position will bolt from on Saturday as it seeks to become the 13th horse to win the Triple Crown. Eastern after a flight from Kentucky, where he had been based since his victory in the Preakness Stakes.

"I never do like to draw the rail, but my horses seem to live in it", said Baffert who trained the most recent Triple Crown victor.

Justify, who opened as a 4/5 favorite, is looking to become the first Triple Crown victor since American Pharoah, another Baffert horse, in 2015 but only the third since 1978. Read on for a preview of the 2018 Belmont Stakes after Tuesday's post draw took us one step closer to discovering whether Justify can live up to his billing. He overcame the "Curse of Apollo" to win the Kentucky Derby in dominant fashion and take home the roses.

"I never like drawing the rail in one of these races, but we have it and we can't change it", Baffert said. "So we'll just deal with it".

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To do so, Justify will have to defeat nine horses.

European veteran Gronkowski isn't as accustomed to dirt, however, and may need more than a little of that fortune if he's to beat Justify, whose strong preparations suggest he's on course for Triple Crown treasure.

Aside from all the usual speculation that comes in the aftermath of a post-position draw, Justify is worthy of his praise, as he's excelled in muddy wins at the Kentucky and the Preakness. Baffert, who won the Triple Crown with American Pharoah in 2015, was set to throw out the first pitch. But none have won from the rail since Empire Maker in 2003. His 98 Brisnet speed figure in the Preakness is complimented by his 107 pace figure, which, when added together (205), nearly equals that of his Kentucky Derby performance (204).

Justify will face a tough field, one that includes at least 10 challengers, as of Monday morning. In 2013, Lukas brought Oxbow (Awesome Again) to Belmont to follow up a win in the Preakness with a runner-up finish.

The post time for the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes is 6.46pm ET. NBC Sports will televise the 1.5-mile race.

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