Sport

Justify's Triple Crown Win Sparks Controversy About Blocking Horse

Justify's Triple Crown Win Sparks Controversy About Blocking Horse”

On Saturday Justify became just the 13th horse in history to win the Triple Crown, defeating yet another crowded field of talented horses en route to adding another win to his undefeated record.

Justify's achievement follows 2015 champion American Pharoah, who was also trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert.

The chestnut colt became the second undefeated horse to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont, improving to 6-0 in a racing career that began on February 18.

At 52, Smithbecame the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown.

Smith, who won his third Belmont to go with those in 2010 (Drosselmeyer) and 2013 (Palace Malice), sent Justify straight to the lead from the No. 1 post, which since 1905 has produced 24 winners of the Belmont, the most of any post position. He wouldn't have gotten the (1½-mile) distance, but he wasn't given the opportunity, either. That said, Justify is now worth more as a healthy stud than he could ever make on the track, so don't be surprised if his racing career has come to an end. He has won all six races he has run this year.

The Derby is 1.25 miles in length.

He didn't flinch when greeted by a roaring crowd as he walked onto the track.

In the case of Justify, the math is a lot different because a far larger deal for his breeding rights - $60 million - was concluded after he won the Derby but before he captured the Preakness and the Belmont.

Jockey Mike Smith reacts atop of Justify #1 the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 9, 2018, in Elmont, New York.

"It is a tremendous honor for Keeneland to have sold racing's newest Triple Crown victor, Justify", Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. Americans love dynasties, whether in politics, sports, or musical acts, and the Triple Crown is racing's greatest dynastic concept, an institution that predates every major championship event except the World Series.

Baffert became the second trainer to win the Triple Crown twice. Now, three years after American Pharoah ended the sport's 37-year drought, he did it again. James "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons guided Gallant Fox in 1930 and Omaha in 1935.

Justify's hall-of-fame trainer Bob Baffert said the win was meant to be.

He said of his races, "I believe there's just a flow that guides me and when I follow it, awesome things happen".

Rosie Napravnik, in 2013, became the first female jockey to ride in all three Triple Crown races.



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