Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Justify romps in Belmont; 13th Triple Crown champ

Belmont Stakes 2018: Betting odds, picks, favorites Bob Baffert horse Restoring Hope accused of blocking for Justify
Cassandra Castillo | 14 June, 2018, 02:27

Owned in partnership by China Horse Club, WinStar Farm, Starlight Racing and Head of Plains Partners, Justify earned $800,000 for the win and boosted his bankroll to $3,798,000. "That's his job, to protect the other horse, and it worked for them", Velazquez said.

Smith, at 52, is the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown.

A losing owner at the Belmont Stakes is accusing Justify's stablemate of engaging in horseplay.

A division of Coolmore also bought the rights to American Pharoah, who won the Triple Crown in 2015, snapping a 37-year drought. There is also, of course, the risk of defeat, which takes away some of the invincibility of a Triple Crown victor. "We're looking forward to sharing him more".

Justify became just the 13th horse in history to win the Triple Crown on Saturday, but his win is not without some controversy. Justify pulled away down the 1,097-yard stretch in front of a grandstand packed with screaming fans with only 24-1 shot Gronkowski picking up the chase down the lane.

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.

'The plan was to sit off Justify, ' the trainer said.

In providing a second Triple Crown in a span of three years, however, Justify has done his part to make the achievement mainstream once again.

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"It baffled me", Repole told the Daily Racing Form on Sunday.

The prize-winning horse has won six races in 111 days.

The three-year-old colt, bred by British Columbia's John Gunther, entered the Grade 1, $1.5 million race undefeated, and sped to a convincing 1 ¾-length win over runner up, Gronkowski.

Mike Repole, the co-owner of Vino Rosso and Noble Indy - who finished fourth and last respectively - took exception to the actions of Restoring Hope jockey Florent Geroux Saturday.

Crowned racing's 13th victor of the Triple Crown, the undefeated Justify returned to Churchill Downs's Barn 33 on Monday afternoon. "Had I known better, the first eighth of a mile I would have thought it was a quarter-horse race, not the mile-and-a-half Belmont".

Jockey Florent Geroux (center in pink silks) is seen leaving the gate at the Belmont Stakes, with victor Justify on the far left.

Repole said he thought stewards should take a look at the race.

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