Sports

Justify Still The Favorite To Win Belmont

Justify Still The Favorite To Win Belmont

Since 1950, the race has been held at Belmont Park, just outside of New York City. Smith will be aboard Justify in the colt's bid to become racing's 13th Triple Crown victor. Justify ended a three-year Triple Crown drought.

Baffert will saddle a second horse: 30-1 shot Restoring Hope.

Justify's stunning rise puts him in the pantheon of great horses. He quickly decided that in nearly 40 years as a jockey, he'd never ridden a more gifted 3-year-old. So, even if you aren't typically a horse racing fan, you might want to tune in to see if history is made.

The 2018 Belmont Stakes Saturday will determine whether Justify clinches the Triple Crown or comes up a race victory short.

On a fast, dry track, Justify was just as good in his third race in five weeks at his third track.

"I'm grateful to have a horse like this, to have the opportunity to be here, to make history like this is an incredible feeling", Baffert said.

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As a general rule, jockeys get 10% of the prize money for races in which their horses win or place.

Justify is 5-0 in a career that began with his first race in February.

Justify won the Kentucky Derby by 2 1/2 lengths and triumphed narrowly at the Preakness Stakes - both races run in sloppy conditions.

As gassed as Justify looked at the wire in the Preakness, jockey Mike Smith is convinced the undefeated colt could have run longer and picked up the pace if asked.

In the Kentucky Derby, he showed he could run in the mud in a crowded, 20-horse field. "I can't describe the emotions that's going through my body right now".

Baffert sensed he had a "monster" on his hands the first time he breezed the colt in January. Baffert declared that he had a plan that would allow the promising 3-year-old to overcome what seemed to be a hopelessly late start and still qualify for the 20-horse Kentucky Derby.


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