Justify battled through sloppy conditions to win the 143rd Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in a thrilling finish to keep the Triple Crown dream alive.
Justify, trained by Bob Baffert and jockeyed by Mike Smith, remains undefeated in his racing career. Bravazo came in second followed by Tenfold.
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.
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.”
Belmont Stakes: What Time, Where To Watch and More
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.”
American Pharoah was the last horse to win the Triple Crown in 2015. Only 12 horses in total have achieved that goal in the history of horse racing.
The 150th Belmont Stakes will take place on June 9th on NBC and the NBC Sports app.
Cloud Computing won last year’s Preakness Stakes after not racing in the 2017 Kentucky Derby.
ARCADIA, Calif. — Anticipating approval by the California Horse Racing Board, Santa Anita plans to reopen for live racing on Friday for the first time since it was shut down following the deaths of 22 horses.
The track on Sunday issued a revised stakes schedule that includes the $600,000 Santa Anita Handicap to be run April 6, the same day as the $1 million Santa Anita Derby.
The CHRB is to meet on Thursday to consider new safety and medication rules that Santa Anita, Golden Gate Fields and the Thoroughbred Owners of California agreed to on March 16.
Racing has been suspended at the track since March 5 after 22 horses suffered fatal injuries since Dec. 26. Limited training is being allowed on the main dirt track while testing of the surface and new rules involving safety and medication have been worked out.
If the CHRB approves and racing resumes, Santa Anita will feature the $200,000 San Luis Rey Stakes on Friday.
The Santa Anita Handicap originally was to be run on March 9.
NEW ORLEANS — By My Standards passed three horses down the stretch to win the $1 million Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds Race course Saturday.
The winner went off at 22-1 in what is one of the major prep races for the Kentucky Derby, and galloped past Todd-Pletcher-trained Spinoff to win by nearly a length.
Trained by W. Bret Calhoun, By My Standards earned 100 points in the Road to the Kentucky Derby, assuring qualification for the Triple Crown opener. Jockey Gabriel Saez steered By My Standards into fourth entering the final turn and finished the 1 1/8-mile race in 1:49.2. He paid $47, $16.60 and $9.40.
With John Velazquez aboard, Spinoff earned 40 points with a second place finish and paid $6.80 and $5.40.
Sueno finished third and paid $6.
War of Will was the morning line favorite at 6-5 and went off at 4-6. But after settling in the middle of the pack, the winner of the previous two Fair Grounds prep races faded and finished ninth in what was the colt’s first loss on a dirt track.