When will Justify run for the Triple Crown?
The three-year-old colt checked off the first two boxes of the Triple Crown, winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes in sloppy conditions.
Now, Justify, trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Mike Smith are looking to keep his undefeated run going at the 150th Belmont Stakes on June 9 (NBC, NBC Sports app). Post time is 6:46 pm. ET.
The Belmont Stakes is considered the hardest race of the Triple Crown because it’s the longest of the three (1.5-mile longs). Justify won the Derby with relative ease, but the story was different at the Preakness.
The Triple Crown contender found himself in a battle nearly the entire race with Good Magic before the No. 5 horse faded in the end. Bravazo finished second followed by Tenfold.
It’s Baffert’s seventh Preakness win and Smith’s second.
“It was a nail-biter,” Baffert said after the win. “You know, they put it to us. That was a good horse. … I’m so happy that we got it done. He’s just such a great horse to handle all that pressure.”
Smith, whose last Preakness win was 25 years ago, believes Justify’s tight finish with Bravazo and Tenfold was due to fatigue and waiting on competition.
“He got a little tired,” Smith said. “This is his hardest race he’s had. But he was also waiting on competition. It’s awful loud out there. Track’s pretty narrow. He was kind of looking and jumping at tracks and doing a few things. But it was a good kind of tired. It’s the kind of tired that I’m hoping anyway, and it felt like he’ll move forward.”
In horse racing history, 23 horses have won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes but have failed to win the Belmont Stakes.
American Pharoah was the 12th horse to win the Triple Crown in 2015.
What: 150th Belmont Stakes
When: June 9, 2018
Post time: 6:46 p.m. ET
Where to watch: NBC, NBC Sports app