Did stablemate help Justify win Belmont?

Did stablemate help Justify win Belmont?

Ross Houston
June 13, 2018

Owned by WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, and Starlight Racing and ridden by Mike Smith, Justify held off the late charge of Gronkowski to win the Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1) June 9 in Elmont, N.Y., by 1 3/4 lengths and became the 13th victor of racing's Triple Crown.

The owner for both fourth-place finisher Vino Rosso and last-place horse Noble Indy, Mike Repole, said Restoring Hope's strategy did not play to his strengths and therefore raised red flags.

From the first turn through the back stretch, Restoring Hope hung right off Justify, pinning Bravazo to the rail, whose late charge in the shorter Preakness Stakes almost overtook Justify in that race. My horse broke a step slow and Justify was already in front of me'.

Justify with jockey Mike Smith up parades along the track after winning the Triple Crown at the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race Saturday

"He was showing me the same signs (as American Pharoah)", Baffert said of Justify. "I would expect that probably in the next few days the NY stewards should at least ask him what he was thinking and what happened". "I would have thought Baffert would have wanted Restoring Hope nowhere close to the pace. Any Triple Crown victor is great for the sport".

"Justify is a super horse".

Among those in the crowd was Denise King of Raceland, Kentucky, who took a break from a conference to come to Churchill Downs with a friend and see a bit of history.

Since 1990, there have been 10 instances where horses have won the first two of the three legs of the Triple Crown: Silver Charm in 1997, Real Quiet in 1998, Charismatic in 1999, War Emblem in 2002, Funny Cide in 2003, Smarty Jones in 2004, Big Brown in 2008, I'll Have Another in 2012 and California Chrome in 2014.

"I wanted to see that horse's name up there (with the other greats) because we know he was brilliant from day one", he told reporters. Maybe the horse was completely out of control and Florent had no choice.

Geroux has yet to comment about the matter.

So for the moment, at least, he sounded just like Zayat, who showed up at Justify's barn on Sunday to congratulate the horse's trainer, Bob Baffert, who also trained American Pharoah.

Steve Lewandowski, the New York Gaming Commission steward, said there was no plan to question Geroux, the Daily Racing Form reported. "If he had a 5-percent chance to win, he had to be up near the lead".

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