Justify claims Triple Crown with win at Belmont Stakes

Justify claims Triple Crown with win at Belmont Stakes

Among the other recent undefeated Kentucky Derby winners were Smarty Jones, Big Brown and Nyquist. "I actually thought, 'He's not going to break today.' I mean, he left there like he was going 440 yards in Ruidoso, New Mexico". While that strength may come in handy when conditions are sloppy, the combination of Belmont distance and his recent workload could make Justify a shaky favorite to some.

The last time there was a Triple Crown coronation, President Barack Obama was still in office, Princess Charlotte was a month old and the long-suffering Cubs had not won a World Series since 1908.

After a sun-filled day of races, an ominous cloud cover settled over Belmont Park right as Justify and the rest of the field entered the starting gate, setting the drama for the 90,327 people in attendance.

Bob Baffert has done everything he can with Justify.

"I think he's the greatest of all time", Smith said.

In 2004, Smarty Jones put away two rivals early and was ahead by four lengths in his bid for Triple Crown immortality. Slew also was a wire-to-wire Belmont victor. American Pharoah ended a 37-year drought in 2015. Fitzsimmons won in 1930 with Gallant Fox and in 1935 with Omaha.

"It never gets old", Baffert said. "American Pharoah, he'll always be my first love".

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And they told me, yes. "It's been a long time since we've had a dynasty", Barkley said . "He's got to keep taking his shots". Curry had missed a 3-pointer at the end of the quarter and was trying to make his way back to the Warriors' bench.

At 52, Smith is the oldest jockey to ever win the Triple Crown. He celebrated by grabbing white carnations from the winner's blanket and tossing them in the air.

"Smith said that when he's mounted on his horse, he follows God just as he normally would".

"He looked like a bodyguard making sure nobody got close to Justify". Additionally, Affirmed was the third Triple Crown victor in five years, a streak that began in 1973 with the legendary Secretariat.

Before the Belmont, which Justify won by 13/4 lengths over surprise second-place finisher Gronkowski, the massive chestnut colt with the white blaze had won the Kentucky Derby by 21/2 lengths. Horses whose pedigrees are based on speed rather than stamina are unlikely to run their best, never mind improve, going 1 ½ miles. I tell you, it's just fantastic. Smith slowed the pace midway around the 1 1/2-mile track but maintained a two-length lead heading into the backstretch. They didn't do it.

They expected him to try for the lead coming from the Number 1 post position in the Belmont.

The 24-1 long-shot Gronkowski battled from the back of the pack to cross the line second, nearly two length's behind Justify, while the 5-1 Hofburg finished third. "Now we can take a deep breath and just see how the horse is".

Justify held off a late-charge from Gronkowski, named after Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowskim, the the Giants beat in Super Bowl XLVI. It shows a horse eating the flowers off a women's hat and the jockey reimbursing her in the winner's circle with Quick Pay. Vino Rosso is also owned by Todd Pletcher, who has three Belmont wins to his name.