Justify wins at Belmont Stakes to become 13th Triple Crown winner
Jun 12 2018 by Dustin Murphy
After winning the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, Justify became the thirteenth horse in history to become a U.S. Triple Crown champion - and the horse has a Canadian connection.
"This horse ran a tremendous race, he's so gifted", said Smith, who looked to the sky to celebrate after his ride.
When Baffert left the paddock to head for the grandstand, he relayed to Elliott Walden of WinStar Farm, one of Justify'sowners, what he had told Smith.
"When I worked him after the Preakness, American Pharoah, when he would breathe, he was like he was a machine". He's a superior horse.
"Yeah, I belong now", said Smith, who ripped carnations from the garland of flowers draped on Justify after the race and tossed them in the air to celebrate.
"I'm really proud of my horse". "We wanted to give him every opportunity". I can't describe the emotions going through my body right now. "Then he misses the break, and then there's a soft pace". He has reduced his riding schedule in recent years to concentrate on riding the sport's best horses. "Now we can take a deep breath and just see how the horse is". That's the end of the story. So when American Pharoah won the Triple Crown, the hoards of joyous horse racing fans shook Belmont Park, right outside New York City, to its core.
Justify was running at a fast pace in the first quarter-mile with a time of 23.37 seconds, but he was able to slow it down at the half-mile (48.11) and three-quarter-mile (1:13.21) marks. In that case, the last Triple Crown victor came when Jimmy Carter was in the second year of his Presidency, the Shah of Iran was still in power, and the Soviet Union still existed and had not yet launched what would become a disastrous war in Afghanistan, and Grease had not yet been released in theaters. He handled the dirt. The Belmont Stakes are named after August Belmont I, the first president of the American Jockey Club, according to Newsday.
"There was no pace and nobody put any pressure on the horse and he kind of walked the dog going around there".
"We want to race him, at least through this year", he said Sunday.
Belmont Stakes hopeful Gronkowski pauses before working out at Belmont Park, Friday, June 8, 2018, in Elmont, N.Y. Gronkowski is one of 10 horses racing in the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race on Saturday.
Justify started out hot on Saturday, taking a two-length lead over the rest of the field.
Baffert joined Fitzsimmons as the only trainers to oversee two Triple Crown winners.
"You can't doubt [Justify] now, there's no way".
Smith says Justify is both smart and in great shape. They didn't do it today. "He was able to go ahead and get a comfortable lead and let him get in that rhythm of his". "And I am so happy for Mike Smith". It's a great honor to be a part of it.