Justify wins Preakness Stakes, earning second jewel of Triple Crown

  • Justify wins Preakness Stakes, earning second jewel of Triple Crown

Justify wins Preakness Stakes, earning second jewel of Triple Crown

Justify, trained by Bob Baffert, broke "the Curse of Apollo" at Churchill Downs on May 5 by becoming the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the "Run for the Roses'" as a 2-year-old.

Justify's record now stands at 5-0 as he looks on to the Belmont Stakes in NY on June 9.

"But right now I say why not?" The Kentucky Derby victor drew the seventh post in Saturday's race - the same post he had at the Derby.

While it's a field of eight horses, it's expected to be a two-horse race: Justify and Good Magic.

"Unbelievable. It's a dream come true, to be honest with you", Smith said after the race. "He's just a great horse to handle all that pressure and keep on running".

Good Magic set out to challenge from the start, and the two raced neck-and-neck for much of the race with the Kentucky Derby runner-up even taking the lead at times.

A hard-charging Bravazo finished second and Tenfold was third as Good Magic faded to fourth toward the end of the 1 3/16 mile (9.5 furlongs) dirt track race.

Pharoah's win at Pimlico was extremely similar to the one that Justify just pulled off. "He took the worst of it being on the fence and getting pressed the whole way".

The official drink of the Preakness is the black-eyed Susan cocktail, which will be served at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday or can be easily made from home.

The victor of the derby this year was the horse Justify, ridden by jockey Mike Smith.

"He withstood that, and even though he got exhausted today, he was also looking around a bit at the end", Smith said.

That Justify, a unique physical specimen with blazing early speed, was able to win the Derby at all off just three career races in 77 days, was not only an impressive training feat by Baffert but a testament to the horse's vast talent.

Smith won the Preakness for just the second time in 17 tries, 25 years after his first aboard Prairie Bayou. American Pharoah was the last horse to win the Triple Crown in 2015, but there had been a 37 year drought prior to the horse completing the historic feat.

"I'm so happy that we got it done", Baffert said. Justify showed no ill effects from a bruised heel on his left hind foot that was discovered in the aftermath of the Derby, an injury Baffert insisted would not be a problem. Those will only continue assuming Justify is good to go for the Belmont in three weeks. "We hope the race goes off without a hitch".