Bob Baffert horse Restoring Hope accused of blocking for Justify

Bob Baffert horse Restoring Hope accused of blocking for Justify

Though Justify won the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes this weekend, the 13th Triple Crown champion in horse racing history was immediately met with controversy.

Mike Repole tells the New York Post that he thinks a longshot by the name of Restoring Hope essentially blocked for Justify during a portion of the race, and he hopes racing officials investigate.

Restoring Hope was running in second place right next to Justify for a good portion of the race, but tapered off and finished eighth.

Bob Baffert trains Triple Crown victor Justify and Restoring Hope.

The jockey for Vinno Rosso, Hall of Famer John Velazquez, said he understood why Restoring Hope broke from usual form and credited Baffert for the strategy. 'I would have thought Baffert would have wanted Restoring Hope nowhere close to the pace'.

"He ran a large number of races in a short amount of time with no 2-year-old foundation", said Chad Brown, who trains Gronkowski.

The win marks the second Triple Crown for Justify's coach, trainer Bob Baffert, in just three years - he also won in 2015 with American Pharoah.

More than 90,000 fans witnessed history last Saturday with Justify's victory in the 150th Belmont Stakes

Even Restoring Hope's owner was not happy with the way his horse was ridden.

After he banked a $15 million purse for winning the Belmont Stakes, Justify's breeding rights were sold by the horse's owners to Coolmore for $60 million, according to an ESPN report. The mile-and-a-half track at Belmont, significantly longer than the first two races in the Triple Crown, is known as the test of champions and the hardest race in the series.

San Diegans will get a chance to see Triple Crown victor Justify this summer. Maybe the horse was completely out of control and Florent had no choice.

Triple Crown victor Justify will get a well-deserved break and then race again this year, although no date or location has been targeted yet after the colt came out of his Belmont Stakes victory in good condition.

Such actions, if true, can be camouflaged by the helter-skelter run for position into the quick first turn of a one-circuit race like the Belmont.

Chris Kay, president of the New York Racing Association, joked that he would "hold Bode hostage until they make the decision", referring to Baffert's 13-year-old son.

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