Justify will try to immortalize his name and join such horses as Whirlaway, Count Fleet, Citation and Secretariat when he runs in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday.
This Saturday, Justify capped off a terrific card at Belmont Park with a front-running 1 3/4-length victory in the 150th Belmont Stakes.
Baffert also trained American Pharoah, the horse who won the 2015 Triple Crown.
Justify snapped an century-old streak back at the 2018 Kentucky Derby by coming the first horse since 1882 to win said race with racing as a 2-year-old, a common age for horses to begin their racing career.
The field included Preakness runner-up Bravazo and third-place finisher Tenfold, along with Derby horses Vino Rosso, Hofburg and Free Drop Billy. So any horse that wins all three passes a threshold of speed, strength, and just plain grit.
Blended Citizen (+1800), who has the outside No. 10 position, could be in the running to at least show after having success on the same track on May 12 when he won the Peter Pan Stakes, which is only nine furlongs to the Belmont’s 12.
It seems only yesterday, but it was actually February 18 that Justify loudly announced his presence in roaring off to a 9 ½-length victory in his Santa Anita debut.
The Asbury Park-Press put together a collection of picks from staff members, and none of them featured a vote for Justify to win the race despite going off the board as a 4-to-5 morning line favorite.
Justify led during the entire race, but Gronkoski miraculously finished in second place after being dead last early in the race.
Smith let Justify roll through a first quarter in:23.37, then subtly eased up the tempo to mark the half-mile in:48.11. He inspired favorable comparisons to American Pharoah. The son of Scat Daddy had earned 100 points in the Santa Anita Derby, more than enough to advance to the Kentucky Derby. So, even if you aren’t typically a horse racing fan, you might want to tune in to see if history is made. Baffert oversaw American Pharoah’s Triple Crown success in 2015 and has used the same methods with Justify. I’m probably closer to that horse because of his temperament… He’s just a big, tough horse.