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Justify wins the Triple Crown

  • Author: Field Level Media
  • Updated: June 9, 2018
  • Published June 9, 2018

Mike Smith aboard Justify wins the 150th Belmont Stakes on Saturday at Belmont Park. (Tommy Gilligan / USA TODAY Sports)

Justify won the 150th Belmont Stakes on Saturday in Elmont, N.Y., becoming the 13th horse to win the Triple Crown and only the second undefeated champion to achieve racing's most prestigious accomplishment.

Starting out of the No. 1 post, jockey Mike Smith navigated Justify from the rail through a field of nine challengers to give trainer Bob Baffert his second Triple Crown winner in the last four years. Baffert also trained American Pharoah, who won the Triple Crown in 2015, ending a 37-year Triple Crown drought.

Smith, at 52, became the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown and gave Baffert a record 15 wins in Triple Crown races.

Justify joins Seattle Slew as the only two undefeated horses to win the Triple Crown.

Justify slogged through muddy conditions to win the Kentucky Derby and then emerged from a dense fog to capture the Preakness Stakes. Conditions were much better Saturday.

Draped in red and white, Justify got off to a good start, grabbing the early lead and setting a fast pace. He had a two-length lead heading into the back stretch, fought off challenges from Vino Rosso and Gronkowski and cruised home.
Justify closed as a 4-5 betting favorite. Gronkowski finished second, and Hofburg came in third.

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