Sports

Justify claims Triple Crown with victory at Belmont Stakes, video

Justify claims Triple Crown with victory at Belmont Stakes, video

He won the 2018 Kentucky Derby in early May and the Preakness Stakes a couple of weeks later.

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. There, colt-starter Toby Richard was clear from the very first day: written in bright orange marker on the dry-erase board were the words: "Goal: To help start the next Triple Crown victor".

You may also be able to watch a live stream on NYRA.com or on the Belmont Stakes Facebook page or in pretty much any sports bar you go to that day.

Bob Baffert and Mike Smith have teamed up to win a big race at Belmont Park. The offspring of two distance horses, Bravazo is well-suited to the Belmont Stakes' 1.5-mile distance.

But Justify found his own path.

Gronkowski took second place and Hofburg placed in third. Would Justify fall victim to the fatigue and bad luck that had marked 13 failed Triple Crown bids between 1978 and 2015? In other words, the team behind a Triple Crown victor simply receives the sum total of the top prizes in each race.

The $2 exacta paid $89, and the $1 trifecta paid $229.74.

ELMONT, N.Y.: 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, 2018 in Elmont, New York. Justify, as with American Pharoah, stabled in Louisville between legs of the Triple Crown and followed a similar training schedule as his predeccesor.

Some had wondered whether the colt might show signs of fatigue following a busy schedule but that was not the case as he broke from his number one post position and was never seriously challenged by any of the other nine horses.

Baffert became just the second trainer to win two Triple Crowns, following James "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons, who won all three races with the father-son pair of Gallant Fox (1930) and Omaha (1935). "American Pharoah, he'll always be my first love". The farm that bought American Pharoah's stud rights made more than $20 million in 2016 alone. He quickly decided that in nearly 40 years as a jockey, he'd never ridden a more gifted 3-year-old.

"I'd like to see John win the race!"

At 52, Mike Smith is the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown. Jockeys typically pay 30% of their winnings to their agent and valet, and everyone must pay taxes on this income.


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