Justify wins Triple Crown with dominant victory at Belmont

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Justify became horse racing's 13th Triple Crown victor and second since 2015.

Along with Pharoah, Justify now joins the following horses as Triple Crown winners - Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977) and Affirmed (1978). A horse couldn't pull that off in almost four decades?

From there, he reeled off consecutive Grade I wins in the April. 7 Santa Anita Derby, May 5 Kentucky Derby and May 19 Preakness S. Sales History: $500,000 yrl KEESEP '16. But sports fans aren't famous for rational reactions. A generation of pent-up frustration spilled out of the crowd.

Hofburg, who entered the race as oddsmakers' No. 2 choice, finished in third, while Vino Rosso, a popular Kentucky Derby sleeper, came in at fourth. "American Pharoah, he'll always be my first love". As he headed down the Belmont stretch, victory in sight, he didn't carry the same weight.

Oddsmakers have liked Justify for quite some time.

Baffert sounds confident that Justify can handle the workload, per Jonathan Linter at Horse Racing Nation.

No chance. Between his imposing size and the way his chestnut coat glistens in the sun, Justify is hard to overlook, particularly with his muscular hind legs propelling him forward.

"Think about what kind of horse it takes to win these races", Elliston continued.

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It was the first time Justify ran on a dry track in the Triple Crown series.

But Justify found his own path.

Ridden by two-times Belmont Stakes winning jockey Mike Smith, Justify has drawn the inside barrier.

"If you're a superior horse, you can do it", trainer Bob Baffert said Sunday.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness victor is the early 4-5 favorite for Saturday's 1 ½-mile Belmont, the longest and most grueling of the three-race series.

An impressive feat for Baffert, racing's affable, most marketable two-legged star, for sure.

This time out Justify will face 9 other horses trying to keep him from sweeping the Triple Crown.

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