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. Tanya Gunther was responsible for choosing the chestnut colt's parents. Baffert had a second horse in the Belmont - Restoring Hope - that ran behind Justify at the start before fading to eighth. "Everybody was in tears, the staff at Glennwood, my daughter and even myself". He's just a big, tough horse.
"This means everything to Glennwood", said John Gunther.
For Justify, being one of the finest athletes of our time will have to do.
"It's been the longest, quickest journey", a hoarse-sounding Baffert said as light rain fell outside Justify's barn.
"Fifty-two years old. Think about that accomplishment, winning a Triple Crown at 52 years old?" There's no more deserving than him. He's been training at Saratoga since the Kentucky Derby and should be fresh after not running in the Preakness. "This horse, I'm sure there was millions of people screaming at their TV wanting to see it done". He becomes the second man to train twoTriple Crown winners, joining "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons in the annals of horse-racing history, per ESPN.
Justify is a massive horse.
Justify's pedigree features plenty of Canadian content.
Scat Daddy's bloodlines include Canadian-breds Nijinsky (an English Triple Crown champion), Northern Dancer and Storm Bird.
"They both could win the Breeders' Cup Sprint and the Breeders' Cup Classic". It showed with Curlin when he was clobbered at the start, taken out of his game, and forced to come from well back for the first time in his short career.
Smith thanked Baffert for giving him the opportunity to ride Justify into the history books. His mounts have earned more than $310 million. But most important, Justify's victory assures that we won't have to wait another 37 years to see a Triple Crown. But it's a challenge Gunther welcomes.
"But you never dream it could produce a result like this". "He's got such a natural high cruising speed and he can just kind of keep on going".
And Gunther might have to look no further than his farm for the next Justify. Now, it's up to the undefeated colt and some racing luck to add his name to a revered list of Triple Crown winners.
Justify was purchased at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale for the China Horse Club & Maverick Racing for $500,000 by their buying team that consists of Wallace, the China Horse Club's racing and bloodstock manager, along with Mick Flanagan and Tom Ryan of SF Bloodstock.
Smith said Justify was so calm in the gate that he was anxious he might not break.
"I didn't even realize it was Justify's half-brother and it was Stage Magic who'd had the foal".
"He was standing so good, nearly too good", Smith revealed. Here are the odds for every contender in the field the morning of Saturday's race.
"That mare is so special", Gunther said. "Capitalist, Russian Revolution and Justify didn't cost $1 million between them in the ring but would be worth up to $200 million after their racing deeds".
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