Justify wins Belmont to become 13th Triple Crown champ

Justify became the 13th Triple Crown victor in horse racing history on Saturday, winning the 150th Belmont Stakes.

After running over sloppy tracks in the first two jewels of the Triple Crown - the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes - Justify had a fast strip at Belmont Park and got home in 2:28.18. He became the 13th Triple Crown victor of all time and the second horse to accomplish the feat since 1978.

American Pharoah was the last horse to win all three races in 2015. Of those 35, only 12 have won The Run for the Carnations to complete the feat.

Victor Espinoza, who rode American Pharoah to a Triple Crown, did a television commercial leading up the Triple Crown races this year.

Justify is trainer Bob Baffert's fifth horse who won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.

Given the fact that only three years had passed since the last Triple Crown victor, there wasn't almost as much pre-race media hype as there had been in 2015 when American Pharoah won the Belmont to become the first Triple Crown victor since Affirmed in 1978.

Unraced as a two-year-old, Justify was sent straight to the front by Smith and was always dictating matters. There was a Hall-of-Fame trainer and a Hall-of-Fame jockey, side by side, sharing a moment and celebrating only the second horse to win the Triple Crown with an undefeated record. "He's now become a household name, and I'm looking forward to the next race just as much as you guys are".

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"I was just watching the clock". It was one of the biggest highlights of the race's 150-years. "Did you see him in the gate?"

For now, the owners of Justify - which also includes Head of Plains Partners and Starlight Racing - are taking a circumspect approach to the horse's future.

He knew in February that the 3-year-old chestnut colt, who had yet to run a race, was something special.

"Our focus was on each race as it came up, and now we can take a deep breath and just see how the horse is, " Walden said. "They're just superior horses", he added.

"The raw talent is there, " trainer Bob Baffert said. He was also only three-quarters of a length behind Triple Crown contender Justify so keep him in mind when filling out your tri-fectas. Justify becomes the thirteenth Triple Crown victor and the first since American Pharoah in 2015. A true closer, Blended Citizen does his best running in turf and synthetic races but is still an intriguing challenger to Justify thanks to his consistent speed figures and stamina pedigree. Second unbeaten Triple Crown victor, just like the great Seattle Slew in 1977.

"I was so happy for him when he won", said Smith.

Baffert was confident that the curse, known as the Apollo curse, would be broken before Justify stepped out onto the track. And. he looked like a very good horse, and we tried to hire a very good trainer.

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