Justify is the 13 Triple Crown victor, and only the second to win the all three American Classics - Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes - in the past 40 years (American Pharoah, 2015).
Wearing a white blanket advertising his status as the sport's 13th Triple Crown victor, Justify walked laps inside the barn before coming outside to greet a slew of cameras.
Restoring Hope finished eighth in the Belmont. Once in the stretch, however, Justify continued to roll along, giving no signs of quitting, and Gronkowski had to settle for second, with second choice Hofburg coming on to edge Vino Rosso by a neck for show.
Justify, the 13th horse ever to win the Triple Crown, is partially owned by a company controlled by the top employees of Jewish investor George Soros. He's the first Triple Crown victor to face that many rivals in the 1½-mile Belmont.
What’s Next for Justify? Maybe More Races, or Maybe Just the Breeding Shed
"Justify was on his game that day, so I don't think - on that day - anyone was going to beat him".
Justify completed the Triple Crown by winning the Belmont Stakes over the weekend, becoming the 13th horse to accomplish the feat, but the win comes with some controversy.
Baffert had fretted after Justify drew the No. 1 post, a spot he detests for his horses.
Justify, who cross the finish 1¾ lengths in front of 24-1 longshot and Keeneland sales graduate Gronkowski, is the 20 Belmont victor produced by Keeneland sales.
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But they face a revolt by pro-EU Tory MPs determined to retain as numerous changes as possible in the legislation. Theresa May's Janus-faced promise on a "meaningful vote" may have averted a defeat.
Geroux offered a similar explanation to the Daily Racing Form, saying the plan was always to move Restoring Hope to a forward position.
"Today, he looked fantastic", Baffert said. After the race, Smith said he didn't have much to do.
Completing the order of finish after Vino Rosso were Tenfold, Bravazo, Free Drop Billy, Restoring Hope, Blended Citizen and Noble Indy.
Walden (speaking to Baffert): "What did you tell Mike?"
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A poor 2015 Copa America campaign saw them exit at the quarter-final stage after a defeat on penalties against Paraguay. But only when a middling playing career was cut short by injury, at the age of 27, did he find his true calling.
Justify will travel from Belmont Park to Churchill Downs in Kentucky to get a "week or so" off before owners decide what's next for the undefeated horse.
Jockey Florent Geroux (center in pink silks) is seen leaving the gate at the Belmont Stakes, with victor Justify on the far left.
The three-year-old colt, bred by British Columbia's John Gunther, entered the Grade 1, $1.5 million race undefeated, and sped to a convincing 1 ¾-length win over runner up, Gronkowski.
But the New York State Gaming Commission confirmed that there were no plans for its steward, Steve Lewandowski, to discuss it with Geroux.
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