Sport

Justify wins Belmont to become 13th Triple Crown champion

Justify wins Belmont to become 13th Triple Crown champion

The chestnut colt became the second undefeated horse to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont, improving to 6-0 in a racing career that began on February 18.

In addition to the three Triple Crown races, Justify's resume includes his maiden win, an optional claiming victory, and the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, all with a combined winning margin of 23 ¾ lengths. The mile-and-a-half track at Belmont, significantly longer than the first two races in the Triple Crown, is known as the test of champions and the hardest race in the series.

Justify will travel from Belmont Park to Churchill Downs in Kentucky to get a "week or so" off before owners decide what's next for the undefeated horse.

The Derby is 1.25 miles in length. "He's a remarkable horse to run in all three legs as well as he did".

'Who knows if he would have won the race anyway?

May 6, 2017 - Always Dreaming, ridden by John Velazquez, wins the 143rd Kentucky Derby.

Mike Smith, 52 years old, was the jockey and took Justify to the lead right at the start.

The Preakness is traditionally run the third Saturday in May at Pimlico in Baltimore, Maryland.

Justify ridden by jockey Mike Smith wins the 150th Belmont Stakes
Justify ridden by jockey Mike Smith wins the 150th Belmont Stakes

Such actions, if true, can be camouflaged by the helter-skelter run for position into the quick first turn of a one-circuit race like the Belmont.

May 20, 2017 - Cloud Computing, ridden by Javier Castellano, wins the 142nd Preakness. He stood so quietly in the starting gate that jockey Mike Smith wondered if he'd respond when it sprang open.

Five (1930, 1943, 1946, 1973 and 1977) of the 11 national championships in Fighting Irish football history have come in years there's been a Triple Crown victor. He's the first Triple Crown victor to face that many rivals in the 1½-mile Belmont.

The victor of the race is given a blanket made of between 300-400 white carnations, the traditional flower of the Belmont Stakes.

Other Triple Crown winners include Sir Barton (1919), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948) and Secretariat (1973).

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who saddled American Pharoah to end a 37-year-old Triple Crown drought in 2015, thus became the second trainer along with "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons to train two Triple Crown winners, with Fitzsimmons having conditioned Gallant Fox (1930) and his son, Omaha (1935).

Six of the 10 horses in the Belmont were Keeneland sales graduates.

Which is why there should be no surprise that the opening quarter-mile of the 150th Belmont Stakes last Saturday has become grist for post-race agita.





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    Smith got the colt into a relaxed rhythm under a moderate pace heading into the backstretch, and he had an easy trip from there. Horses and riders aren't used to 11/2-mile races in the USA , where the focus is on sprinting. "He's sent from heaven".
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