Gronkowski the horse finishes second at Belmont Stakes

Gronkowski the horse finishes second at Belmont Stakes

The 37-year wait for the Triple Crown of horse racing, mercifully ended three years ago when awesome American Pharoah crossed the finish line first at the 2015 Belmont Stakes, was at the same time exasperating, demoralizing, and borderline comical.

Justify became the 13th thoroughbred to win horse racing's Triple Crown.

Bravazo is "a tough little horse, and I think his pedigree will let him run that far", trainer D. Wayne Lukas said.

"This horse ran a tremendous race. He's so gifted. He's sent from heaven".

Gronkowski finished second in the 1 1/2 mile race.

Baffert had been telling people that the horse was special since before his very first race, but Justify's journey began well before that. He won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness on sloppy tracks after heavy rain fell. He seemed to have recovered nicely from a hoof bruise after The Derby, but the Belmont's mile and a half can expose even the most bulletproof of horses.

A week after his Belmont, American Pharoah paraded during Churchill's "Downs After Dark" race card headlined by the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap. So.

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Instead, he powered to the front of the field on the sweeping Belmont track called "Big Sandy" and ran like a machine to the wire.

Triple Crown and Belmont Stakes contender Justify trains with Humberto Gomez up prior to the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 8.

The 3-year-old son of Scat Daddy will now be enshrined as racing's 13th victor of the Triple Crown, just the second undefeated colt to do so. He was standing so still. "I don't see why not go to the Belmont, as long as he stays like this".

Justify is undefeated in his five career races and will be the favourite going into Saturday's race. Seattle Slew was unbeaten when he won the Triple Crown in 1977. With the last Triple Crown just three years past, would casual sports fans embrace him as they had American Pharoah?

Baffert became the second trainer to win the Triple Crown twice.

As the drought dragged on, Baffert had reason to know how hard it was to achieve the feat.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness victor is the early 4-5 favorite for Saturday's 11/2-mile Belmont, the longest and most grueling of the three-race series.

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