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giftedviz.com October 23, 2018


Justify wins the Belmont Stakes, earning the coveted Triple Crown

13 June 2018, 12:17 | Pamela Mathis

Belmont Stakes hopeful Bravazo works out on the main track at Belmont Park, Friday, June 8, 2018, in Elmont, N.Y. Bravazo is one of 10 horses racing in the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race on Saturday.

So for the moment, at least, he sounded just like Zayat, who showed up at Justify's barn on Sunday to congratulate the horse's trainer, Bob Baffert, who also trained American Pharoah. This was the horse racing version of The Dream Team.

"The only way we can be competitive with the big boys of the breeding world is by backing ourselves and finding these horses as yearlings", Field said.

Sometimes it's simple in sports.

After winning the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, Justify became the thirteenth horse in history to become a U.S. Triple Crown champion - and the horse has a Canadian connection.

A win for Justify would be Bob Baffert's second as a trainer. They were going slow and he said [jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.] didn't want to make some insane move down the backside to go join him, which probably wouldn't have made any sense. "There was something about him".

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness victor is the early 4-5 favorite for Saturday's 11/2-mile Belmont, the longest and most grueling of the three-race series. I tell you, it's just incredible. "Don't use it all at once". "He just seems a class apart in everything he's done". Twenty-three times a horse has won the first two legs of the Triple Crown only to be denied horse racing's ultimate glory by failing to win the Belmont Stakes in NY.

Four months ago, only a select few people knew about Justify.

Smith, the coolest man at Belmont Park, who did not even celebrate when the race and the Triple Crown were won, rationed it perfectly. Justify won the Preakness by a half-length.

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"I swear I thought of that, I did", Smith said when he turned for the home stretch.

"Give them the credit", said Baffert of WinStar.

"American Pharaoh, he'll always be my first love", Baffert admitted after the win. Horses do not do what Justify just did.

Baffert's tied Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons as the only trainer to saddle two Triple Crown winners. So was Smith, who actually took a nap - something he never would've done as a younger jockey. "Did you see him in the gate?"

When fans roared at him in appreciation on the way back to the winner's circle, Smith calmly pointed to Justify.

"You asking me?" he said, nearly incredulously. The Belmont Stakes are named after August Belmont I, the first president of the American Jockey Club, according to Newsday. I just won a Triple Crown, man.

Justify had to win the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby to qualify for the Kentucky Derby. Two weeks later, his shortest time between races, he captured the Preakness. At that point, Smith joined the team.

Justify is coming off a grueling schedule, winning six races in 111 days.

Great jockey. Great trainer.



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