Triple Crown victor Justify led all the way at Saturday's Belmont Stakes, but controversy arose Sunday after some raised questions about the role of another horse in the victory. It seems appropriate, since the race - which is 1.5 miles - requires horses to be ruthless and not give up a single furlong if they want to end up in the winner's circle. Here's what you need to know about the prize-winning horse.
The brown colt's entry into the history books started when he became the first horse to win a Kentucky Derby without having raced as a 2-year-old since Apollo's 1882 victory. He became the 13th Triple Crown victor of all time and the second horse to accomplish the feat since 1978. Of those 35, only 12 have won The Run for the Carnations to complete the feat. If he pulls it off, he'll become the 13th thoroughbred in history to do so and only the second since 1978 when American Pharoah took the title in 2015.
Field has a habit of finding group 1 winners for SF Bloodstock, starting with Golden Slipper victor Capitalist, then Russian Revolution and now Justify.
"Our focus was on each race as they came up", Walden said after unveiling Justify's Triple Crown banner inside Belmont Park. I tell you, it's just unbelievable. He wasn't a 2-year-old champion bred and built to win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont.
"Did you see him in the gate, he's standing so still", Smith said. For horses used to training and running at shorter distances it can be like asking them to start over doing something completely different. He has ridden such outstanding horses as Zenyatta, Royal Delta, Songbird, Shared Belief and Game On Dude, but riding Justify has taken him to a new level.
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Manafort's lawyers would find the hard work of trial preparation even more challenging with their client in jail, Zeidenberg said. Manafort is now under house arrest, awaiting trials scheduled for Virginia and Washington, D.C., later this year.
Less than a month later, Justify became the first Kentucky Derby victor to go unraced as a 2-year-old since Apollo in 1882. "And I thought maybe, because I could see Gronkowski flying, but he just couldn't get to that horse". "A lot of it's just kind of a gut feel about each horse". After a handful of agonizing Triple Crown misses, he broke through with Pharoah, solidifying his legacy.
Baffert said he was "in awe" of Pharoah when he won, and "in shock" seeing him win. A $15 million boost to $75 million overall would make the colt the most valuable should he sell, eclipsing the $70 million Coolmore once paid for 2000 Kentucky Derby victor Fusaichi Pegasus.
He was assigned odds of 12-1 on the morning line, and the snickering from handicappers began: How many people will wager on this horse just because of his name? Back in NY where he dominated in the 1990s, Smith took Justify on a walk past the packed grandstand, soaking in the cheers and giving the crowd a closer look at racing's newest hero.
"I think my mother's happy now", Smith said.
Bob Baffert is hoping to snag his second Triple Crown in the span of just three years with Justify.
He had every reason to be thrilled that he had won the Triple Crown along with a legendary horse.
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