Justify wins Belmont to become 13th Triple Crown champion

Business magnate George Soros arrives to speak at the Open Russia Club in London Britain

Business magnate George Soros arrives to speak at the Open Russia Club in London Britain

Smith will be aboard Justify in the colt's bid to become racing's 13th Triple Crown victor. Baffert, of course, saddled American Pharoah in 2015 when he ended a record 37-year drought. Justify won that race, and he hasn't lost since, taking an allowance, the Santa Anita Derby, and now the Triple Crown in just six starts.

In addition to Bravazo, Kentucky Derby horses Hofburg, Vino Rosso and Free Drop Billy and Preakness horse Tenfold are among those likely to challenge Justify in what's considered the most hard race on the Triple Crown trail. Jockey John Velazquez asked his Curlin colt to go on the attack, but he could only get to the pacesetter's hip.

"This horse ran a tremendous race", said an emotional Smith.

He's the first Triple Crown victor to face that many rivals in the mile and a half Belmont Stakes.

Justify, bred by John Gunther in Kentucky, emerged from the fog at Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course to hold off Bravazo by half a length in the Preakness. With the last Triple Crown just three years past, would casual sports fans embrace him as they had American Pharoah?

After $2 exacta, $1 trifecta and $1 superfecta prizes of $69.60, $141.40 and $19,618.20 at the Kentucky Derby, Saturday's latest Justify victory didn't exactly break oddsmakers' banks.


Breaking from the No. 1 post and ridden by jockey Mike Smith, Justify outran nine rivals in the "Test of the Champion".

"I think he's got to run better than he did in the Preakness but we know going in he's got the most talent", NBC horse racing analyst Randy Moss said on Friday.

The track won't be sloppy in Elmont, New York, with mostly sunny conditions expected at race time.

Justify is 5-0 in a career that began with his first race in February.

" target="_blank">Tamarkuz won the Group 2 Godolphin Mile in Dubai, and Materiality won the Grade 1 Florida Derby".

Baffert sensed he had a "monster" on his hands the first time he breezed the colt in January.

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