Justify captures the 2018 Triple Crown on Saturday with his thrilling wire-to-wire victory at the 150th Belmont Stakes.
Unlike near Triple Crown misses of the past that accompany heartbreak, the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes featured wire-to-wire comfort.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) June 9, 2018
Justify becomes the 13th horse to capture the suddenly non-elusive Triple Crown.
Years turned into decades extremely quickly in terms of no Triple Crown winners. Affirmed, back in 1978, represented the last horse to climb that magic ladder. It wasn’t until American Pharoah circa 2015 that we witnessed another.
Just three years later, we have another in the form of Justify, as we saw record betting on the Belmont Stakes.
Fifty-two-year-old jockey Mike Smith rode Justify the entire mile-and-a-half in two minutes 28.18 seconds. He now joins 1977’s Seattle Slew as the only undefeated Triple Crown champ.
Gronkowski, the underdog horse whose name is directly related to New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, finished as the place. Hofburg finished as the show.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 9, 2018
— Neal Turpin (@nealturpin) June 9, 2018
The legendary Bob Baffert becomes the second trainer in history to claim two Triple Crown winners and understands the history that was made on Saturday in New York, via Melissa Hopert of The New York Times.
“American Pharoah will always be my first love, but, man, for this horse to do it,” Baffert said, adding later: “This horse never had a break. It was like getting a quarter horse ready to run week after week.”
With his name firmly inked in horse-racing history, Justify’s can now rest until his next official move is announced.