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Justify's Triple Crown run caps magical run for BC breeder

13 June, 2018, 19:17 | Author: Candice Daniels
  • Funny Cide and Justify both tried for the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes

Not only did Justify give the 65-year-old trainer his second Triple Crown in four years on Saturday, but for the second straight year, Baffert came away with a win in every race he had an entry on the day of the Belmont Stakes.

In fact, Gunther, of Langley, B.C., was so convinced Justify would win the Triple Crown he boldly predicted the sweep long before the horse's Kentucky Derby win last month.

The colt became the 13th Triple Crown victor in history.

At the wire, it was the European invader Gronkowski second, Hofburg third and Vino Rosso fourth. Eight of his overmatched Belmont opponents had more rest, and he wore them out.

By winning the Derby, Justify broke the dreaded Apollo Curse, becoming the first horse to win that race after not starting as a two-year-old since Apollo did in 1882.

There was one horse, however, who was a threat to Justify's Triple Crown bid at the top of the Belmont Park stretch.

There was some show of competition from the other horses.

The first horse to load in the gate, Justify stayed so still and steady as the other nine followed suit that Smith anxious for a moment that he might not break at all.

Justify greets the media
Justify greets the media

Their strides and running styles are comparable, Baffert said, adding that they both had similar struggles in their races leading up to the Belmont event.

The 37-year wait for the Triple Crown of horse racing, mercifully ended three years ago when awesome American Pharoah crossed the finish line first at the 2015 Belmont Stakes, was at the same time exasperating, demoralizing, and borderline comical.

Smith said Justify was so calm in the gate that he was anxious he might not break.

The 3-year-old chestnut behemoth known as Justify sparkled around Belmont Park's 1½-mile track Saturday in 2:28.18, capturing the 13th Triple Crown in history.

Baffert became the second trainer to win the Triple Crown twice, having overseen American Pharoah. Baffert's first came in 2015 with American Pharoah, while Fitzsimmons won it in 1930 with Gallant Fox and in 1935 with Omaha. The only other unbeaten Triple Crown victor was Seattle Slew in 1977. There's no more deserving than him. From there, he reeled off consecutive Grade I wins in the April 7 Santa Anita Derby, May 5 Kentucky Derby and May 19 Preakness S. Sales History: $500,000 yrl KEESEP '16.

"When you're standing in the winner's circle in the Derby there's nothing like it, but this is kind of cool because I'm a New Yorker, it's a little special".

"I think he's the best we've seen in some time", said Canterbury Racing Analyst Brian Arrigoni.

"From his first start, you could see that he was a very, very impressive colt", John Gunther of Langley, B.C., who bred Justify at his Kentucky farm, told CTV Vancouver before the race.

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