Justify Wins Triple Crown at Belmont

Justify Wins Triple Crown at Belmont

Justify Wins Triple Crown at Belmont

Fans streamed into Belmont Park on Saturday in anticipation of watching Justify try to become the second Triple Crown victor since 2015.

The throughbred's accomplishment marks the second horse to win the elusive three races in three years, as American Pharoah also took home the tile in 2015.

But it would be 37 years before the Baffert-trained American Pharoah would become the 12th Triple Crown victor in 2015. Saturday's race will be run 45 years to the day that Secretariat ended a 25-year Triple Crown drought.

Breaking from the No. 1 post and ridden by jockey Mike Smith, Justify outran nine rivals in the "Test of the Champion".

Gronkowski, a 24-1 shot trained by Chad Brown and part-owned by New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski, came from well back to finish second under jockey Jose Ortiz.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Bob Baffert watches the Brooklyn Invitational, a race his horse Hoppertunity won at Belmont Park on Saturday.

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Smith climbed aboard for the next race on March 18 at a muddy Santa Anita.

Justify entered the race 5-0 in a career that began with his first race in February. "I certainly could have got after him a whole lot more a lot earlier and made him do a little more, as well".

Justify, bred by John Gunther in Kentucky, emerged from the fog at Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course to hold off Bravazo by half a length in the Preakness.

Twelve out of the last 13 times the horse who won the Derby and Preakness lost the Belmont.

Hofburg finished third 3.5 lengths behind the victor, with Vino Rosso fourth at 3.75 lengths behind. The great Secretariat ended a 25-year drought in 1973 in record fashion, then, four years later, Seattle Slew came along to put his ideal stamp on the feat. American Pharoah brought in total prize money of $8.7 million-and after retiring, he has commanded a $200,000 fee for each healthy foal he sired.

All that remained was to prove that he had the toughness and resolve to conquer the longest, most grueling leg of the Triple Crown - the Belmont Stakes. "I thought maybe, because I could see Gronkowski flying, but he just couldn't get to that horse".

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