Justify Wins the 13th Triple Crown in Horse Racing History

Justify Wins the 13th Triple Crown in Horse Racing History

Justify is only the second horse since 1978 to earn the Triple Crown, widely considered the greatest accomplishment in thoroughbred racing, which comes from winning three high-profile USA races: the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.

Jockey Mike Smith wore the colors of the China Horse Club, one of Justify's owners, on race day; the red outfit with yellow starts resembled the Chinese flag, as the China Horse Club's seeking to grow the sport there.

Justify's victory moved Baffert past D. Wayne Lukas to become the winningest trainer in Triple Crown races with 15. Justify began his career in mid February, capturing a maiden race at Santa Anita before adding an allowance event at that venue a week shy of one month later.

"I can't believe I'm here in NY winning it again". In fact, until the Preakness Stakes, no contender had come within 2 1/2 lengths of Justify as he had to fend off Bravazo and Tenfold late.

The last horse to win the Triple Crown was American Pharaoh, who accomplished the feat in 2015.

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"He's so brilliant. Did you see him in the gate, he's standing so still", Smith said. Breaking from the less-than-desired No. 1 post, Smith gunned Justify to the lead and never looked back. Baffert has won 14 Triple Crown races, equaling the all-time total of legendary trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

Justify had to win the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby to qualify for the Kentucky Derby.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness victor opened at the 4-5 favorite with about an hour to go before the Belmont Stakes.

"Mike great, obviously, and Justify is probably a great horse", said trainer Bill Mott, whose Hofburg finished third, 3½ behind Justify.

Justfy made history at the Kentucky Derby in May when he galloped through thick clumps of mud to score first-place at the finish line, becoming the first colt since Apollo in 1882 to win the iconic Derby at Churchill Downs without racing as a 2-year-old. 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.

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"Smith said that when he's mounted on his horse, he follows God just as he normally would". Smith has seven Triple Crown race victories to his credit.

This deal makes Justify the most valuable horse in history, reports ESPN.

Baffert will saddle a second horse: 30-1 shot Restoring Hope.

Field was trackside for the final leg of the Triple Crown in NY as Justify continued the incredible partnership of WinStar, the China Horse Club and SF Bloodstock, which started in Australia.

Gronkowski will draw some love from casual bettors that are also football fans, as his namesake is Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots (who is a part-owner of the horse). "I learned a lot by watching him and how he handled everything, and how he just took it one race at a time".

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