The victor of the race is given a blanket made of between 300-400 white carnations, the traditional flower of the Belmont Stakes.
"This horse ran a tremendous race", said Smith, who at 52 is the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown. "He's sent from heaven". Two weeks later, he survived a challenge in the Preakness, winning by a half-length, again in the slop to set up a Triple Crown try. In thinking back to part of his rationale in allowing American Pharoah to keep running after the Triple Crown, Zayat said: "How do you deprive the sport of him?" None of American Pharoah's first crop of horses has yet to race.
"I was just watching the clock. He's just that kind of horse". Assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes, groom Eduardo "Lalo" Luna, and exercise rider Humberto Gomez accompanied Justify on the van ride and flight.
Justify, who cross the finish 1¾ lengths in front of 24-1 longshot and Keeneland sales graduate Gronkowski, is the 20 Belmont victor produced by Keeneland sales. Vino Rosso made the most serious move to get within a length but never threatened.
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Like he did in both his Kentucky (G1) and Preakness S. (G1) wins, Justify found his way to the front soon after the start of the Belmont and never looked back, turning away any challenge to take the "Test of the Champion" by almost two lengths.
Coolmore Stud had already negotiated for a $60 million deal, but Justify's Triple Crown win was worth a $15 million bonus, turning the breeding fee into a record breaker.
But, the race is best summed up by a pre-race conversation between Elliot Walden of WinStar Farms (one of the partners in Justify along with China Horse Club, Head of the Plains Partners and Starlight Racing) and Bob Baffert. Among those in the crowd was Denise King of Raceland, Kentucky, who took a break from a conference to come to Churchill Downs with a friend and see a bit of history. He said, "He'll probably just be taking it easy". "[Bob] will get Justify right and then we'll make a plan".
"Justify was on his game that day, so I don't think - on that day - anyone was going to beat him". "But I can see the stewards looking into this over the next couple of days".
"[Repole] wanted me to be on the lead, but I didn't have enough speed to get to the lead", Castellano told the Daily Racing Form.