Keeneland Was First Public Stage for Triple Crown Winner Justify
Keeneland Was First Public Stage for Triple Crown Winner Justify
More than 15 million watched on NBC as Justify crossed finish line to win Triple Crown in 150th Belmont Stakes
13 June, 2018, 04:48
People in racing with knowledge of the deal said it included a bonus of about $25 million were Justify to win the Triple Crown, which he then went on to do, and that it also allowed the multiple owners to retain some shares in the horse when he begins his career as a sire (a provision that also has benefited Zayat to the tune of millions of dollars). Other trainers are saying Justify's stable mate, Restoring Hope, was used to hold off other horses in the race, and was never actually trying to win. It was just the second time in 40 years for a horse to win the coveted Triple Crown, winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont.
'If my horse would have broke on top, I would have been on the lead and Justify laying second.
"I would have thought Baffert would have wanted Restoring Hope nowhere close to the pace".
"Today, he looked fantastic", Baffert said.
Belmont second-place finisher Gronkowski, owned by Phoenix Thoroughbred III, made his North American debut in the race for owner Phoenix Thoroughbred III. He stayed in second, 1½ to 2 lengths behind Justify, for a mile before retreating to eighth. "It was going to be my friend or the enemy", Baffert said when asked about what other horses he was concerned about as the race developed.
Fifty-two-year-old Smith is now the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown. "Restoring Hope is sort of running interference a little bit to keep Noble Indy from getting up there with Justify", Moss said on the telecast.
"I have no earthly idea what Florent was thinking or what his race strategy was", he told the Post in an email. The mile-and-a-half track at Belmont, significantly longer than the first two races in the Triple Crown, is known as the test of champions and the hardest race in the series. "His only chance was to be up near the lead in the first wave because he's like a one-dimensional horse". Maybe the horse was completely out of control and Florent had no choice.
"Opinions die", Baffert said.
So for the moment, at least, he sounded just like Zayat, who showed up at Justify's barn on Sunday to congratulate the horse's trainer, Bob Baffert, who also trained American Pharoah. He won his first three races by a combined 19 lengths, making trainer Bob Baffert a believer.
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