Sport

Justify pulls away in Belmont Stakes to win Triple Crown

Justify pulls away in Belmont Stakes to win Triple Crown

Gronkowski was second, and Hofburg third. It wasn't the pair of Tenfold and Bravazo, who came so close to taking down the undefeated chestnut in the Preakness Stakes (G1).

Prior to the Belmont Stakes, Justify's owners, WinStar Farm, China Horse Club and SF Racing, made a deal with Coolmore to sell the horse's breeding rights for $60 million. Second unbeaten Triple Crown victor, just like the great Seattle Slew in 1977. Justify becomes the thirteenth Triple Crown victor and the first since American Pharoah in 2015.

One owner believes that there was something suspicious about how the race was handled by Restoring Hope, a stablemate of Justify's, with both horses trained by Bob Baffert.

Meanwhile, it looks like Justify will have to win his first Triple Crown race on a fast track. "He could have won every race on the undercard today". In short, it has all the makings of a great horse movie.

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. "Even just looking at him he's this massive lovely horse". "I think he's the greatest of all time", Smith said.

The fashion scene at the Belmont Stakes is as diverse as NY itself.

"American Pharaoh, he'll always be my first love", Baffert admitted after the win.




Fans are streaming into Belmont Park in anticipation of watching Justify try to become horse racing's 13th Triple Crown victor and second since 2015.

"I was really happy with way he got away from there", jockey Mike Smith said. As he crossed the finish line, the race caller exclaimed, "American Pharoah is finally the one!"

The Triple Crown is the rarest of all feats on the North American sports ledger. 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. He became the first thoroughbred to win the Kentucky Derby without racing as a two-year-old since 1882, aka the Chester Arthur administration. A combination of factors can help or hurt a horse, including a poor start, bad racing luck or jockey error. "And I thought maybe, because I could see Gronkowski flying, but he just couldn't get to that horse".

After winning the first two races earlier this year, Justify was the clear favourite to win Saturday's race in Elmont, New York.

"He's so brilliant. Did you see him in the gate, he's standing so still", Smith said. But jockeys say Smith's age is actually an advantage.

"I was just watching the clock". The next year, the classic rivalry of Affirmed and Alydar reached its peak when Affirmed inched ahead by a head to become the last Triple Crown victor until Pharoah arrived. Four of Justify's rivals have been resting since the Kentucky Derby a month ago: Free Drop Billy (16th), Hofburg (seventh), Noble Indy (17th) and Vino Rosso (ninth).


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