Belmont Stakes: Justify completes US Flat racing Triple Crown

Belmont Stakes: Justify completes US Flat racing Triple Crown

In adding the Belmont to his Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes victories, the unbeaten Justify made Bob Baffert just the second trainer to saddle two Triple Crown winners.

Next Saturday, Justify's owners, along with trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Mike Smith, will receive their engraved Kentucky Derby trophies at Churchill. Now, it's Justify. The horse, ridden by jockey Mike Smith is a ideal 6 for 6 in his racing career.

Should he win, he will be only the second undefeated horse to complete the triple crown, joining Seattle Slew (1977).

Chad Brown-trained Gronkowski finishes second in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. Easy. The Belmont will ask even more questions.

"Any time we're consigning yearlings, we're going to get people certainly taking a second look at our consignments when we do sell yearlings".

The Belmont is known as the "Test of the Champion" for good reason: it's the first and likely last time these 3-year-old colts will be running 1 ½ miles.

"What an unbelievable experience, my heart was pounding and I had to sit down", said Gunther, who witnessed Justify's historic run at Belmont Park on Saturday.

While the deal might seem rich, sources said Coolmore would make it up by breeding in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, making the horse capable of breeding at least 250 times in his first year.

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Just 12 horses have swept the Triple Crown, one of the rarest feats in sports.

The big, chestnut colt stood above the other horses with a commanding lead all the way through the homestretch Saturday in Elmont, N.Y. It was only his sixth race, and some bettors had anxious that he packed too many races into the 110 days leading up to the race, but it was no contest. When Justify ran the first quarter-mile in:23.37, Gronkowski was 14 3/4 lengths behind the leader and eight lengths behind Free Drop Billy, who raced ninth in the 10-horse field.

"I swear I thought of that, I did", Smith said when he turned for the home stretch. He won the Kentucky Derby by 2 1/2 lengths and then survived a half-length victory in the Preakness, both on sloppy tracks.

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.

The reality is the race Gronkowski ran would win quite a few Belmonts, even though the third leg of the Triple Crown is thought to be unkind to deep closers and hasn't produced a last-to-first victor since Jazil in 2006. "I think I see a lot of resemblance in these two, the way they move".

"I have no earthly idea what Florent was thinking or what his race strategy was", West said, per Tom Pedulla of the New York Post. Last year, he won 15 Grade 1 races, the most since he won 20 back in 1994. The only other unbeaten Triple Crown victor was Seattle Slew in 1977.

Hofburg paid $3.70 to show. Where Justify has run a half-dozen races in four months, this will be Hofburg's fifth race.

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