Justify chases Triple Crown history in Belmont Stakes


Baffert also trained Triple Crown victor American Pharoah in 2015.

Showers are possible for the 1 1/2 mile (2400m) race on the Belmont Park dirt in Elmont, New York.

Justify defied all the odds on his way to achieving Triple Crown immortality. He did so in 2015 with American Pharoah, a colt that ended a 37-year drought.

He and American Pharoah, both trained by Bob Baffert, have created a new era of stars, reminiscent of the 1970s, when three brilliant horses won the Triple Crown in a five-year span.

"It was by far his hardest race", his jockey Mike Smith said at the time.

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Gronkowski, named for the National Football League player, finished second, having been last for much of the race. Vino Rosso made the most serious move to get within a length but never threatened.

I'm not sure if I'll be betting on Justify to win yet, but I know I'll be rooting for him.

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.

This shocking run wasn't so shocking to those who watched Justify's early moves on the track at Santa Anita. Tapwrit won last year's Belmont in 2:30.02.

Justify will break from the No. 1 post in the starting gate.

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No Triple Crown victor has faced more than seven rivals in the Belmont, so Justify could be the first. Baffert went into the year thinking McKinzie gave him a better chance and on Friday recalled thinking of Justify, "The backup horse is pretty good, too".

The historic win makes Justify the 13th Triple Crown champion and the first to claim the title since American Pharoah in 2015.

The Kentucky Derby is a 10-furlong race.

"Mike Smith, he deserves something like this", said Baffert, now one of only two trainers in history to saddle a pair of Triple Crown winners.

Justify accomplished a lot in a very short time.

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Justify's run in the Kentucky Derby was convincing enough to scare off a few opposing owners and trainers from the Preakness.