Justify became the 13th horse in history to win U.S. racing's coveted Triple Crown with an electrifying triumph in the 150th Belmont Stakes on Saturday.
While recent history's 1-out-of-16 chance for victory certainly ain't good, backers of this year's favorite, Justify, should be comforted that, like Justify, American Pharoah had also won the Triple Crown's first two legs.
Justify has already done more than expected, a bit of a late bloomer who doesn't have the pedigree of someone like American Pharoah.
Triple Crown and Belmont Stakes contender Justify trains with Humberto Gomez up prior to the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 8.
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But it would be 37 years before the Baffert-trained American Pharoah would become the 12th Triple Crown victor in 2015.
Baffert broke a 37-year drought in 2015 with American Pharoah.
Smith, 52, became the oldest jockey to win a Triple Crown.
The race was won by Bee Jersey, who just got a nose down in front of Mind Your Biscuits. And when they questioned Justify's grueling workload - five races in three months, with the Belmont his sixth in less than four months - Baffert said his horse was tough enough to handle it. Restoring Hope, who like Justify is trained by Baffert, last ran May 5 but not in the Derby.
Earlier, Baffert and jockey Mike Smith teamed to win the $750,000 Ogden Phipps with Abel Tasman.
As Belmont Stakes approaches, will Justify win the Triple Crown?
No horse has won from that post since 2003, and trainer Bob Baffert called the post his "least favorite". Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons trained Triple Crown winners Gallant Fox and Omaha in 1930 and 1935.
"Although he got exhausted (Saturday), he was also looking around a bit at the end", Smith said.
Gronkowski finished second in the race.
Justify started out hot on Saturday, taking a two-length lead over the rest of the field.
As we reported in our Kentucky Derby story, though, the owner of the horse winning the Triple Crown can make far more money in stud fees than just from prize money.
Going beyond Justify and his Triple Crown win, NFL Twitter was all over the race's second-place finisher. The next year, the classic rivalry of Affirmed and Alydar reached its peak when Affirmed inched ahead by a head to become the last Triple Crown victor until Pharoah arrived.
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