The Kentucky Derby and Preakness victor has been guided to this point by a couple of veterans: trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Mike Smith. Smith will be aboard Justify in the colt's bid to become racing's 13th Triple Crown victor.
Gronkowski finished second in the 1 1/2 mile race. Besides Bravazo, the only other Preakness horse to take on Justify again is Tenfold. "I'd like to see the horse win it for himself".
Justify trains on the main track in preparation for the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park.
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A crowd capped at 90,000 spectators roared its approval as the imposing chestnut colt prevailed for the sixth time in less than four months in a whirlwind campaign that allowed him to join Seattle Slew as the only undefeated Triple Crown winners.
In addition to glory and a spot in horse racing history, Justify's ownerw will receive quite a lot of cash: Roughly $1.5 million in prize money will be handed out to the top finishers.
"I've never had a horse work like him", Baffert said of Justify earlier this week.
From his tender heel the day after he won the Kentucky Derby to his exhausted performance in the Preakness to his starting position on the dreaded rail in the Belmont Stakes, he'd encountered obstacles that have defeated many an excellent horse. Two weeks later, Justify weathered torrential rain and a blanket of fog to win the Preakness Stakes, setting himself up for the Triple Crown bid. The son of Scat Daddy had earned 100 points in the Santa Anita Derby, more than enough to advance to the Kentucky Derby. His owners and Baffert have connections to Audible, My Boy Jack and Solomini, who ultimately might not be entered in the Belmont because they could threaten Justify's chances of finishing off the Triple Crown.
Hofburg, a 9/2 shot ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., is rated by punters as the most likely to beat Justify.