Justify will race again after Triple Crown victory

Secretariat runs to victory in the 105th Belmont Stakes

But Smith confessed that Espinoza's Triple Crown journey three years ago actually helped him Saturday. Despite drawing the rail, Justify went off as a 4-5 favorite and more than lived up to his billing.

The large and muscular Justify, owned by China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing & WinStar Farm, was ridden to victory by the veteran Smith.

Justify was also the fifth horse trained by Baffert to win the first two races of the Triple Crown, and those five Triple Crown attempts represent three more than any other trainer. "Now we can take a deep breath and just see how the horse is".

Justify is set to return Monday to Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

American Pharoah ended a 37-year Triple Crown drought in 2015.

"They're two different type of horses, Pharoah and this guy", Baffert said after the Preakness. "After a week it starts catching up with them".

Justify will travel June 17 to Baffert's base in southern California to await his next move.

It didn't necessarily translate into historic payouts for wagers on the top three horses in NY, however.

Baffert can expect to hear from officials at several tracks eager to lure racing's newest superstar, much like he did with American Pharaoh.

"He was showing me the same signs (as American Pharoah)", Baffert said of Justify.

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So what are the races Justify could participate in?

"He was standing so good, nearly too good", Smith revealed. 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.

Justify settled into a good rhythm and turned back a brief early bid from Vino Rosso (Curlin) on the turn. "We were in the office watching the replay over and over". He's just a big, tough horse.

A win for Justify would be Bob Baffert's second as a trainer.

Despite a deal for his breeding rights worth a reported $75 million, the connections of Triple Crown victor Justify plan to continue racing him through the end of this year, they said Sunday.

Things like that happen to all horses, and even those with a foundation find it hard to overcome. He was managed so well by Bob and his staff. "Even though the fractions were soft for a horse of his caliber, still he had to go a mile and a half". Smith faced the pressure of helping Justify take that final step to become the sport's 13th Triple Crown victor. He said, 'He's standing good.

"I've wanted to see that horse's name up there because we knew he was brilliant from day one". In 2017, Gulfstream Park in South Florida established the Pegasus World Cup, a race where up to 12 people can put up $1 million to reserve a spot in the gate, then either enter a horse in the race or make an arrangement to sell or lease their spot to another owner.

Justify dominated the Derby last month but won the Preakness in a closer race two weeks later.

"Opinions die", Baffert said.

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