The race horse won by two and a half lengths at Churchill Downs during the wettest Derby in history.
"I'm very fortunate. This is my 5th time going for a Triple Crown and it never gets old", Baffert said. Justify will look to become thoroughbred racing's 13th Triple Crown victor and second in four years. Justify will be racing against nine other horses, two of which have "fresh legs". Is Justify that good?
There's more to Hofburg's hereditary than Tapit.
It was hard to discern which was less likely: that 12-time major champion Novak Djokovic would falter in his French Open quarterfinal or that Marco Cecchinato, who never won a Grand Slam match until last week and once faced a possible ban for losing on goal, would rise to the occasion. Now, he is scorching - another Belmont Stakes win away from a legacy all his own. Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Mike Smith, Justify races for China Horse Club International, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing and WinStar Farm. When Kentucky Derby time rolled around, I dropped Justify to second on my list and put Mendelssohn on top because he offered a better payout.
Justify is the 4-5 favorite but could be pushed by Mott's entry Hofburg (9-2), Vino Rosso and Lukas pupil Bravazo (both 8-1). Check out Sports Interaction's Belmont Stakes betting odds here. Vino Rosso (8/1) 9.
Trainer Todd Pletcher will saddle Noble Indy and Vino Rosso, and he says Baffert must be nervous about Justify's post position. Both colts won their prep races prior to the Derby but neither threatened the victor.
Some of Justify's rivals have already tested the track after arriving earlier in the week. The Preakness will take place at Pimlico in 2019, but Stronach Group COO Tim Ritvo would prefer the race to move to Laurel Park at some point in the future. His extraordinary performances in the Derby and Preakness are anomalies in an otherwise inconsistent ten race career.
That won't be known until Saturday because none of the horses has ever run 11/2 miles in a race, and likely won't be asked to again in their careers. Silver Charm ran a great race. The first Belmont Stakes to be broadcast was in 1948, when CBS viewers watched Citation win the Triple Crown. He will probably be second choice this Saturday, but he's only won three of his 10 lifetime starts. He ran fifth behind Good Magic in the Bluegrass Stakes back in April which might be the best indicator of where he stands among the best of the 3-year old class. He was 16th at the Kentucky Derby.
Gallant Fox became the first horse to popularize the term with his success in 1930, although it was Sir Barton in 1919 that first won the three races in the same year.
Little Rocket led off Day 2 of the Major League Baseball draft. They also have a cheat sheet with a rundown of all the Belmont starters. Only one of the 12 horses that have won the Triple Crown did so undefeated - the legendary Seattle Slew in 1977.