Sports

Justify wins the Belmont Stakes and completes the Triple Crown

Justify wins the Belmont Stakes and completes the Triple Crown

When Affirmed won the Triple Crown in 1978, it was commonplace for Triple Crown champions to keep running, even as 4-year-olds. That's too bad, because Justify deserved a clean deal, with no strings attached, and nothing but the memory of a gorgeous red colt standing tall atop a reinvigorated Triple Crown.

The victor is given a blanket of roses, so the race is also known as the "run for the roses".

The chestnut colt burst onto the national scene with a 2½-length victory on a sloppy track in the Derby. "And I am so happy for Mike Smith".

Last year, Baffert won four races with Mor Spirit (Metropolitan Handicap), Abel Tasman (Acorn), American Anthem (Woody Stephens) and West Coast (Easy Goer). Justify accomplished a lot in a very short time.

June 9, 2018 - Justify, ridden by Mike Smith, wins the 150th Belmont Stakes.

"(Bob) will get Justify right, and then we'll make a plan", WinStar Farm president Elliott Walden said following the Belmont win. "People love history being made in sports". Justify could step out on the track the way American Pharoah did in 2015. Fitzsimmons did it with Gallant Fox in 1930 and Omaha in 1935.

"It was meant to be", Baffert said. "American Pharoah, he'll always be my first love".

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Smith, at 52, is the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown.

The three-year-old colt Justify won the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, after previously winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, the three most prestigious horse racing events of the year.

"This ran a tremendous race". "He's sent from heaven".

"I was just watching the clock".

Justify becomes the thirteenth Triple Crown victor and the first since American Pharoah in 2015.

Repole did tell The Post he considers Justify a "super horse", regardless of his questions about the Belmont. Galloping through fractions of 23.37 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 48.11 for the half, 1:13.21 for three quarters and 1:38.09 for the mile, Justify entered the far turn without having been asked for run, still two lengths clear of his stablemate and closest rival, with Bravazo hanging on in third. If jockey Florent Geroux thought he was in jeopardy of being squeezed out of the first flight aboard Restoring Hope, that could provide cover for his whoop-dee-do aggression.

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