Lucky 13th Triple Crown had by Baffert's Justify

Ruben Hill
June 13, 2018

"The great thing about being with Bob and having him as a trainer is he knows when the horses are right". Coolmore's interest in American Pharoah was not disclosed until the Triple Crown. It was a narrow victory, and some feared the 1 1/2-mile Belmont would be a stretch too far for the big chestnut colt. Coolmore purchased breeding rights to the 2015 Triple Crown victor American Pharoah from Zayat Stables late in the colt's 2-year-old season or early in his 3-year-old year. A combination of factors can help or hurt a horse, including a poor start, bad racing luck or jockey error.

Justify, victor of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, attempts to win thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown in the 1.5-mile Belmont Stakes for 3-year-olds on Saturday, June 9, 2018 (6/9/18) at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. Birdstone, a 36-1 shot, reeled in Smarty Jones, who lost by a length.

"But they all ran well, but that's all you can ask for, that your horses do well, but they still have to show up". "I knew unless he settled it wasn't going to work and he still nearly won". "Even though the fractions were soft for a horse of his caliber, still he had to go a mile and a half. He was able to go ahead and get a comfortable lead and let him get in that rhythm of his".

"He just came on there, and he broke every curse there was", he said.

Earlier, Baffert and jockey Mike Smith teamed to win the $750,000 Ogden Phipps with Abel Tasman.

"It's just about getting the horse in a good, happy, comfortable place, wherever that may be", Smith said.

"We've just got to keep working and working and working and just try to produce more graded stakes winners".

Before Justify won, 24/7 Wall St. has reviewed the 12 horses that have won the Triple Crown, according to Kentucky Derby's comprehensive list. Justify rewarded his sun-splashed backers with $3.60 on a $2 bet to win.

Gronkowski had never raced on dirt, had never raced farther than a mile, qualified but didn't run in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) because he spiked a fever, switched trainers before the race, and only had two published works ahead of the most hard start of his career.

"They're two different type of horses, Pharoah and this guy", Baffert said after the Preakness. He did so in 2015 with American Pharoah, a colt that ended a 37-year drought.

Bob Baffert became the second trainer to win the Triple Crown twice. The crowd has been capped at 90,000. The forecast calls for 80 degrees and a 20 percent chance of rain. "Once he enters the building, it'll be like Elvis".

The 52-year-old jockey who was born in Roswell, grew up in Dexter and has been dominating big races in recent years put an exclamation point on his illustrious career Saturday, guiding Justify to the Triple Crown with a victory in the Belmont Stakes.

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. And when they questioned Justify's grueling workload - five races in three months, with the Belmont his sixth in less than four months - Baffert said his horse was tough enough to handle it.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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