Justify's Triple Crown Win Sparks Controversy About Blocking Horse

Tanya Simon
June 14, 2018

In regards to when and where the colt will perform next, only time-and an expertly crafted plan from the now two-time Triple Crown trainer Bob Baffert-will tell. The Kentucky Derby and Preakness victor went off a 4/5 favorite for the 1 1/2-mile Belmont, the longest and most grueling of the three-race series. He's only won once, in a maiden race (meaning none of the horses had ever won).

Wearing a white blanket advertising his status as the sport's 13th Triple Crown victor, Justify walked laps inside the barn before coming outside to greet a slew of cameras.

"He's in that private, special club, the Triple Crown, and he established himself as one of the greats", said Baffert.

Crowned racing's 13th victor of the Triple Crown, the undefeated Justify returned to Churchill Downs's Barn 33 on Monday afternoon.

The Derby is 1.25 miles in length. "He's a remarkable horse to run in all three legs as well as he did".

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

After a Derby and a Preakness on wet tracks, he caught a fast racing strip for the Belmont and immediately jumped to the lead when the gate opened and the bell rang.

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The horse is expected to make an appearance at Saturday's night racing event for the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs where his owners will be presented with the engraved Kentucky Derby trophy.

Justify crossed the finish line of 1.5-mile race in 2:28.18, becoming the 13th horse to win the Triple Crown.

The victor is covered by a blanket of black-eyed Susans.

In the end, at least for the wider sports world, the first turn of the 2018 Belmont Stakes will eventually fade into the background, leaving only sour grapes. Once in the stretch, however, Justify continued to roll along, giving no signs of quitting, and Gronkowski had to settle for second, with second choice Hofburg coming on to edge Vino Rosso by a neck for show. 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.

Trainer Bob Baffert has now won two Triple Crowns in four years.

Justify did not begin his career until February 18 and won his first two starts easily at Santa Anita.

June 10, 2017 - Tapwrit, ridden by Jose Ortiz, wins the 149th Belmont Stakes.

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