Justify led all the way to win the Belmont Stakes by 1¾ lengths on Saturday and become horse racing's 13th Triple Crown champion and second in four years. Tanya Gunther was responsible for choosing the chestnut colt's parents. "The great thing about being with Bob and having him as a trainer is he knows when the horses are right. We've been able to brand something very special in what we've accomplished".
The chestnut colt is the second horse to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont, improving to 6-0 in a racing career that began on February 18. Last year, he won 15 Grade 1 races, the most since he won 20 back in 1994.
Behind him horses diced for position.
But Smith confirmed that Justify "broke better today" than in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Once the horses come out of the final turn, they've still got a 1,097-yard (1,003 meters) run through the stretch, exhausting for a horse with little or no gas left in the tank. Now just three years later, racing is celebrating another sweep of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont.
Justify's pedigree features plenty of Canadian content. The first one to do it was Seattle Slew in 1977.
The season-ending Breeders' Cup world championships are in Louisville on November 2-3.
On a fast, dry track, Justify was just as good in his third race in five weeks at his third different track.
Justify was a US$500,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase by China Horse Club and Maverick Racing. And then winning the Belmont it's like you finally reached the summit. He defeated a deep crop, faced more horses in his three legs than any previous Triple Crown victor.
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"But you never dream it could produce a result like this".
"The crowd was in excess of 100,000 so the noise was unbelievable and when they started to roar as he got near the finish it just got even louder". We're just so proud of him. Justify, unraced as a two-year-old, signalled his greatness with a Kentucky Derby victory on a rain-soaked Churchill Downs track in May.
And Gunther might have to look no further than his farm for the next Justify.
If Justify wins on Saturday, he will have faced the largest field (nine) of any of the previous 12 Triple Crown winners.
"It's such an unbelievable horse", said Gunther from Elmont. Mara said of Smith. Where Justify has run a half-dozen races in four months, this will be Hofburg's fifth race. But Gunther opted to follow his gut with this decision, which came long before Justify's emergence as a champion racehorse. "He was standing so good, nearly too good".
"I can't believe I'm here in NY winning it again".
"He was calm", said Gunther. Three options are the $1 million Haskell Invitational on July 29 at New Jersey's Monmouth Park, the $1 million Pacific Classic on August 18 at Del Mar and the $1.25 million Travers on August 25 at Saratoga.
"There was no pace and nobody put any pressure on (Justify) and he kind of walked the dog going around there", Mott said. "He's done everything I or anyone could dream of".