While Justify is the heavy favorite heading into the 2018 Belmont Stakes, the undefeated colt had a tight race in the Preakness Stakes and is facing a difficult field again this Saturday on NBC.
Winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes is no guarantee that the Belmont is a lock.
Belmont Stakes: What Time, Where To Watch and More
Here are the five most recent horses that won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes but came up short at Belmont Park.
California Chrome (2014): Finished fourth in Belmont
Big Brown (2008): Did not finish Belmont
Smarty Jones (2004): Finished second in Belmont
Funny Cide (2003): Finished third in Belmont
War Emblem (2002): Finished eighth in Belmont
What: 150th Belmont Stakes
When: June 9, 2018
Post time: 6:37 p.m ET
Where to watch: NBC, NBC Sports app
ARCADIA, Calif. — Triple Crown-winning jockey Victor Espinoza is planning a comeback in late December after fracturing a vertebra in his neck during a training accident at Del Mar.
That’s according to his agent Brian Beach, who says Friday that Espinoza saw his doctors this week and they are pleased with his progress. However, they’re not yet ready to release the 46-year-old Hall of Fame jockey to ride again.
Beach says on his Twitter account that Espinoza “wants to be 100 percent when he comes back.”
A late December return would allow Espinoza to ride at Santa Anita, which opens its winter-spring meet on Dec. 26.
Espinoza got hurt July 22 when he fell while exercising a horse.
He rode American Pharoah to a Triple Crown sweep in 2015.
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) Vale Dori defeated La Force by three-quarters of a length to win the $300,000 Zenyatta Stakes in an upset at Santa Anita on Sunday.
Abel Tasman, the 1-9 favorite trained by Bob Baffert, finished next-to-last, beaten 10 1/2 lengths. Vale Dori, an 11-1 shot also trained by Baffert, ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.88 under Joe Talamo. The Grade 1 victory earned her an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Churchill Downs on Nov. 3.
Vale Dori snapped a six-race skid.
Bettors waged $474,683 to show on Abel Tasman, who was fresh off a pair of Grade 1 victories in New York under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith. But she broke poorly from the starting gate and never fired.
“I’m as shocked as everybody else, but they’ll do that,” Baffert said. “I’m worried about (Abel Tasman) because Mike said she was lethargic, and she’s up there where all these sick horses are, so I hope she’s not getting sick.”
Vale Dori returned $24.60, $13.20 and $40.60. She earned $180,000, and increased her career earnings to $1,365,567.
La Force paid $8.40 and $14.60. Shenandoah Queen was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third and paid $26.60 to show.