Given the fact that only three years had passed since the last Triple Crown victor, there wasn't almost as much pre-race media hype as there had been in 2015 when American Pharoah won the Belmont to become the first Triple Crown victor since Affirmed in 1978. He became the first thoroughbred to win the Kentucky Derby without racing as a two-year-old since 1882, aka the Chester Arthur administration.
"To achieve a result like this, how do you beat it?"he said".
Belmont Stakes hopeful Gronkowski pauses before working out at Belmont Park, Friday, June 8, 2018, in Elmont, N.Y. Gronkowski is one of 10 horses racing in the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race on Saturday.
Those are the concerns, but for betting purposes, I truly think Justify is a freak of a horse and will contend in this race.
Just 12 horses have swept the Triple Crown, one of the rarest feats in sports.
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Fans are streaming into Belmont Park in anticipation of watching Justify try to become horse racing's 13th Triple Crown victor and second since 2015. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, sitting statue-still down the back stretch, let him run on the lead while rivals Gronkowski, Hofburg and Vino Rosso battle for position behind him but always two lengths off Justify's pace.
At the age of 52, Smith, a devout Christian, is the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown.
There were a few bids made by other horses turning for home.
Justify dominated the Derby last month but won the Preakness in a closer race two weeks later. "He's a remarkable horse to run in all three legs as well as he did". He's the first Triple Crown victor to face that many rivals in the 1½-mile Belmont. Smith faced the pressure of helping Justify take that final step to become the sport's 13th Triple Crown victor.
Purchased for $500,000, Justify earned $800,000 for his Belmont win, giving him $3,798,000 in his brief career. The colt named for New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski brings a four-race winning streak into his US debut.
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Justify's Triple Crown is an awesome accomplishment for Baffert, who also trained American Pharoah - the 2015 Triple Crown victor. "He's so gifted. He's sent from heaven". Finally finding room through which to squeeze midway through, Hofburg had to shift outward or else risk losing his momentum, but the result was a five-wide run that might have taken too much out of him. Breaking from the less-than-desired No. 1 post, Smith gunned Justify to the lead and never looked back.
Justify returned $3.60 to win, $3.50 to place, and $2.80 to show.
Of course, the race that Baffert and Smith really want to win is the Belmont Stakes.
Gronkowski, named for and partly owned by New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, returned $13.80 and $7.
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