Sunday, 24 June, 2018

Belmont Stakes: Can Justify win horse racing's fabled Triple Crown?

Gronkowski ready root for ‘beast of a horse’ in Belmont 2018 Justify to run from rail in Triple Crown bid after drawing No1 post for Belmont
Edward Snyder | 08 June, 2018, 13:11

For the fourth time in his career, trainer Dale Romans brings a horse to Belmont Park with designs on spoiling a Triple Crown bid.

This year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness were Smith and Baffert's first two wins together in Triple Crown races.

Baffert, who trained Justify at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.in preparation for his trip to Elmont, N.Y., said Justify compares favorably to American Pharaoh. "I'm sure they're going to be coming after us again".

The most salient news Tuesday came from the rival barn of Todd Pletcher, who confirmed that Louisiana Derby victor and Belmont long shot Noble Indy (30-1, 25-1) will have the blinkers taken off for Saturday's race, three weeks after a lamentable 17th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby. "It's a lot of pressure, too". With six facilities in Kentucky, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania, New Vocations serves over 40 racetracks, working directly with owners and trainers in need of equine aftercare options. "The place is going to be rocking".

To win the Belmont, a grueling 1 1/2-mile route around two turns, requires a certain blend of speed and stamina, both of which can be found in Justify's pedigree.

"He got their attention somehow". "You've always heard so many stories where the underdog wins, you just never know". "Just being there and a racing fan, I was glad to be a participant and feel the electricity and energy from all the people and the fans that day". "From the rumblings I have been hearing, it seems there are a few people talking about him and handicappers seem to like him".

"If there is lightning in the immediate area, the horses may be held in the paddock until the lightning is over, and when the lightning passes the horses will be sent to the track for the race", Osojnak said. "For about four seconds, you can love on him, but that's it".

Bettors are looking at the Belmont Stakes as a way to make some money because Justify is the 4-5 favorite. Baffert had yet to decide exactly what the colt will do over the next two days, although it won't be anything of outcome; his major training has been completed.

Baffert's 13-year-old son, Bode, already texted his race-day forecast to his father, who read it out loud off his phone.




"Let's see if he can do it", Baffert said of Justify.

Truth be told, Baffert prefers a dry, fast track.

The stage is set for a climactic battle at Belmont Park on Saturday.

The colt is Hofburg, a 9-2 second choice in $1.5 million race Saturday. Bravazo, the Preakness runner-up, has also galloped.

Bob Baffert-trained wonder horse Justify will have to clinch the Triple Crown the hard way after being drawn against the rail for the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes on Tuesday.

Now, Bravazo and Lukas will try to upend history.

"I'd like to see a nice day", said Baffert.

Hopefully that won't happen this Saturday, but if it does, Osojnak offered some words of encouragement for those in attendance: "Good luck ... and "may the horse be with you" (an old race track saying)". "Winners fly Wheels Up and we wish Justify all the best". Justify is good, but he's not good enough to join that club. Silver Charm ran a great race.

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