Then, he ran and ran and ran and ran and ran and ran all the way to the Triple Crown.
Mike Smith is hoping to win another Belmont Stakes - and help take the Triple Crown in the process. His Triple Crown victory was valued at an additional $15 million, which makes the deal now worth $75 million. "Smarty Jones, he had a lot of hostility".
Baffert joins "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons as the only trainers to win the Triple Crown twice. "Did you see him in the gate?"
"To become just the 13th victor of the Triple Crown is awesome and even more special is the fact that he is only the second Triple Crown victor to be bought at public auction after Seattle Slew in 1977".
Justify has won the Triple Crown.
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Baffert also trained Triple Crown victor American Pharoah in 2015.
The earth may not have shaken as in 2015, when 37 years of emotion poured out as Pharoah won.
The Belmont is the oldest of the three races and is run by thoroughbred three-year-old horses. Secretariat won by 31 lengths in a record time of 2:24. But it was unprecedented.
If there's a common theme among the crowd, it's the desire to take a selfie to bear witness to their attendance at Justify's bid for the Triple Crown. Trainers are looking for experienced riders to lead their thoroughbreds to victory, and no one knows horse racing better than Smith.
"I nearly collapsed when he went across the wire, it took all my breath away", he said. Baffert said he felt confident, not stressed, during the run-up to the race. "It was certainly the most thrilling race I've been involved in and the most excited I've been watching a race", Rags to Riches' trainer Todd Pletcher said to the New York Racing Association, per The Morning Call. It was his first time running on dirt, his first time going a mile and a half and he was coming off the layoff.
Baffert was a little nervous after the first quarter-mile when Justify went out fast. "It was just a great day, went smooth".
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Justify became the 13th Triple Crown victor and first since American Pharoah in 2015 in today's running of the 150th Belmont Stakes, held in NY before 90,000 horseracing fans. The New Mexico native won 15 Grade 1 races in 2017, including nine with Bob Baffert, the trainer of Justify and now a two-time Triple Crown victor.
Earlier, Baffert and jockey Mike Smith teamed to win the $750,000 Ogden Phipps with Abel Tasman. Smith sported the red-and-gold silks of China Horse Club after having worn the white-and-green colors of WinStar Farm in the Derby and Preakness.
"I haven't sat down with Elliott or anything", he said. The great Secretariat ended a 25-year drought in 1973 in record fashion, then, four years later, Seattle Slew came along to put his flawless stamp on the feat. He was also only three-quarters of a length behind Triple Crown contender Justify so keep him in mind when filling out your tri-fectas. Baffert, 65, gets another.
"To win six races in a short amount of time like he did is just an unbelievable feat on his part", Smith said. "We thought he was that kind of horse but they have to prove it". But the price tag prompted speculation that Justify might never run again.
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