At 6-0, he's the second undefeated Triple Crown victor; he's the first to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont without racing at age 2; and he's the only horse to beat nine rivals in the Belmont with a Triple try on the line.
On Saturday Justify became just the 13th horse in history to win the Triple Crown, defeating yet another crowded field of talented horses en route to adding another win to his undefeated record.
"This ran a tremendous race".
Jockey Florent Geroux (center in pink silks) is seen leaving the gate at the Belmont Stakes, with victor Justify on the far left. In fact, Notre Dame averages nine wins per season following a Triple Crown - and has only lost 10 games, total, those 12 years. "He's sent from heaven".
As was the case with American Pharoah, who ended a 37-year Triple Crown drought, spectators waited as the van carrying Justify turned the corner before stopping in front of Baffert's barn. The last time there were two Triple Crown champions in the same decade was the 1970s, which produced Secretariat, Seattle Slew and Affirmed. On the other side of the deal was Coolmore, the breeding farm that also oversees American Pharoah's sire activities. He has won all six races he has run this year. "He's just that kind of horse". "I would have thought Baffert would have wanted Restoring Hope nowhere close to the pace".
Baffert seemed to acknowledge that the plan for Restoring Hope was to lay in second for the first turn, but not as part of a plan to help Justify.
Approaching the quarter pole, with the crowd on its feet and screaming, Gronkowski was hitting his best stride from far back, picking off a half-dozen rivals to gain third even as Vino Rosso was moving into second. Hofburg paid $3.70 to show.
Repole, who co-owns defeated Belmont contenders Noble Indy and Vino Rosso, was not the only one who raised questions about Restoring Hope's race.
Justify's winning time was 2:28.18 for the 1 ½ miles over a track rated fast, unlike his two previous wins, which came over sloppy tracks at Churchill Downs and Pimlico. A plan will be formulated once the chestnut colt recovers from a compressed schedule that saw him win six races over 111 days since his debut on February 18.
For now, the owners of Justify - which also includes Head of Plains Partners and Starlight Racing - are taking a circumspect approach to the horse's future.