Justify defied all the odds and won the coveted Triple Crown!
Justify won the 150th Belmont Stakes by 1¾ lengths, leading all the way and become the 13th Triple Crown champion. American Pharoah ended a 37-year Triple Crown drought in 2015, and now just three years later, we have another winner.
Justify won the Belmont starting from the rail. The last Triple Crown from that spot at the Belmont was Secretariat, 45 years ago to the day.
"The raw talent is there,'' trainer Bob Baffert said. "He just came on there and broke every curse there was. It was meant to be.''
Justify is just the second horse to capture the Triple Crown undefeated, joining Seattle Slew (1977). Justify, who is 6-0 and is the first horse to sweep the series without racing at age 2.
"It never gets old,'' Baffert said. "American Pharoah, he'll always be my first love.''
It was jockey Mike Smith's first Triple Crown. At 52, he is the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown.
"This horse ran a tremendous race. He's so gifted,'' said Smith. "He's sent from heaven. I tell you, it's just amazing. I can't describe the emotions going through my body right now.''
"You can't doubt him now, there's no way,'' said Bill Mott, trainer of third-place Hofburg. "He did it right up on the pace, and everybody had an opportunity to take their shot. They didn't do it. They let it go too easy.''
Gronkowski, named for and partly owned by New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, finished second.
"At first I was like, 'Dang, we're in last place by like 15 yards,'" Rob Gronkowski told The Boston Globe. "But I was like, 'The race ain't over, you know?' And then he's getting closer and closer and all of a sudden he is fourth, third, second, and I just started going ballistic."
Vino Rosso finished fourth, followed by Tenfold, Bravazo, Free Drop Billy, Restoring Hope, Blended Citizen and Noble Indy.
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Justify Wins Triple Crown
June 10th, 2018
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