On the 9th June, top American three year old colt, Justify will face his toughest test yet in the mile and half 2018 Belmont Stakes. If he wins he will be a Triple Crown Champion. The last TC champion being American Pharoah in 2015 was also trained in Santa Anita by the legendary Bob Baffert. It now seems an age away but back in February 2018 Justify was something of an unknown. As an unraced two year old colt with a price tag of $500 000 at the yearling sales he was already gathering interest in racing circles. He has a large white blaze on his forehead and he is well bred (Scat Daddy) a very smart horse. Light on his feet for a big horse when he arrived at Baffert’s stable yard it’s easy to see why the training staff quickly took to him. In fact the early faith shown in his horse by Baffert is somewhat remarkable. He had arrived at the yard with a minor injury but went on to win his first race by almost ten lengths earning a reputation for speed and acceleration. Going to post as 1-2 favourite was a good guide of how impressive the unraced horse might be. I prefer to spend my hard earned cash in more favourable ways. If I’m at home I’ll play online at www fruityking.co.uk. It’s better value and although there is no such thing as a racing certainty you will certainly be entertained.
Justify started his second race at long odds on and waltzed to victory by an easy six and half lengths. The Baffert bandwagon began to roll and those in the know were soon on board. Jockey Mike Smith found it hard not to get excited. He was already comparing Justify to Easy Goer, the very smart 1989 colt. Next race at the Santa Anita Derby resulted in an effortless three length victory. One or two fans had noted he had drifted slightly in the home stretch but Bob Baffert was still extremely pleased. The Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs followed soon after. Justify won with two and a half lengths to spare but it was a tough race and he returned home with a bruised heel. Interestingly the Kentucky Derby was Scat Daddy’s last race after suffering serious injury. But not his offspring. It would not stop Justify.
The Preakness Stakes is watched all over the world. It is always a true test of champion thoroughbreds and the 2018 was no different. With conditions being described as desperate, heavy rain and fog, Justify was to have the hardest race of his life. He won by half a length from Bravaso with Tenfold just a neck back in third. This win took a lot of out of him but it showed what a fighter he was. He simply would not let them passed. Baffert was again impressed. The racing world is now focussed on the Belmont Stakes , the last leg of the Triple Crown. There have been 12 previous Triple Crown Champions. I would not bet against Justify becoming number 13.