Horse Racing

Two Down: Justify Wins Preakness, Belmont Ticket Sales Likely To Boom

2018 Preakness Stakes Credits: NBC Sports

BALTIMORE, Md. — Ka-Ching! Ka-Ching!

That's the sound of the New York Racing Association's cash register ringing up ticket sales for the June 9 running of the Belmont Stakes that is sure to attract a sell-out crowd.

Racing fans and just plain wannabes will turn out to see Justify, the winner of the Kentucky Derby and Saturday's $1.5 million, Grade 1 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course try to win Thoroughbred Racing's Triple Crown.

Sign Up for E-News

But, the real lovers of horse racing for horse racing's sake will be salivating from now until the gates open in the mile and a half Belmont to see a match race between China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing and WinStar Farm's Justify and e Five Racing and Stonestreet's Good Magic.

If those two colts run back to the performances they put on in front of 134,487 fans in the mud-soaked and fog-shrouded Preakness, those lucky enough to get a Belmont ticket are in for the what may possibly be a horse race of a lifetime.

Two weeks ago, Justify and Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith ran away and hid from 19 rivals to win the Derby by 2-1/2 lengths over a closing Good Magic and Jose Ortiz. After that performance, Justify was tabbed as the Preakness favorite and a probable to win first Triple Crown since American Pharoah broke the 37-year drought in 2015.

When the rains came to Maryland early during Preakness week, the Pimlico line maker took into account Justify's Derby win came on a sloppy track and installed him as the 1 to 2 favorite. Good Magic's performance on the same sloppy Churchill Downs track got Good Magic a 3 to 1 rating on the morning line.

After Justify and Good Magic went head to head in the Preakness only to have Justify apparently lose the lead, get it back again and get up to win by a half length, those two colts will be a lot closer than 1 to 2 and 3 to 1.

As post time for the Preakness approached, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert was telling interviewers he wanted “another clean break” from the starting gate from Justify to send him on his way to the trainer's fifth win in five tries at a Derby-Preakness double.

Perennial leading NYRA trainer Chad Brown said he was in a completely different position than when he brought Cloud Computing to run in Baltimore. “I had a fresh horse last year. This year, maybe one of the Derby horses will feel the effects and one (Good Magic) will improve”

Baffert got his “clean break” from the starting gate from Justify. But, Good Magic also broke well and an immediate head to head battle developed with Good Magic on the inside and Justify on the outside. That match-up was spared being spattered by the mud being thrown back at the other six who were catching it in the face.

Justify was ahead by a head over Good Magic at the quarter, run in :23.11, the half in :47.19 and at the six-furlong marker with that distance being run in a snappy 1:11.42. Justify and Good Magic went into a fog bank in the homestretch with Justify leading by a half length and came out of it apparently on even terms, if not with Justify possibly a nostril behind.

With Smith working on Justify with a left-hand stick, and Ortiz encouraging with his right hand, Justify responded.

Meanwhile, Bravazo, the sixth place Derby finisher, and new rider Luis Saez, were closing with a rush as was Preakness new shooter Tenfold with Ricardo Santana, Jr. As those two charged, Good Magic appeared to lack further acceleration.

At the wire, the photo finish images showed Justify the winner by a half-length. Bravazo was second, a neck to the good of Tenfold who was another neck to the good of Good Magic.

The teletimer stopped after the mile and three sixteenths had been run over the sloppy and sealed Old Hilltop course in 1:55.93, some 3-1/2 seconds over Farma Way's track record set in 1991.

After the presentation of the Woodlawn Vase, the oldest continuously offered sports trophy in North America, Baffert was asked for his assessment of Justify's race. After referring to the race as a “nail biter” and a “match race,” he said, “I'm happy he was able to take all the pressure and keep on coming.”

Looking ahead to the Belmont, Smith said Justify finished the Preakness, “Kind of tired, but a good kind of tired.”

How did the bettors make out?

The late surges by Bravazo and Tenfold skewed the exotics. The $2 win, place and show prices were Justify, $2.80, $2.80 and $2.60. Bravazo $7.60 and $4.80. Tenfold, $6.80. The Justify – Bravazo exacta paid $13.70 for a $1 bet. The $1 trifecta was worth $148.30.

See more Equestrian news at www.TAPintoHorses.net

Find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TAPintoHorses/

Sign Up for E-News to get top stories delivered daily to your inbox.

TAP Into Your Local News:

Sign Up for E-News

Equine Events June 2018 Onward

Events are listed for New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. To have your event listed e-mail lshupe@tapinto.net. For premium event listings enter them online at https://www.tapinto.net/events/new?premium=true

June 8-10 — Jersey Classic Horse Show, Horse Park of NJ, http://www.ashanj.net/, www.horseparkofnewjersey.com

June 8 — Atlantic County 4-H Open Gaming Show - Atlantic ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_f541fc25559984bc0b28_essex_horse_trials17

Sat, June 23

Moorland Farm, Far Hills

MARS Essex Horse Trials  

Horses Sports

Carousel_image_f541fc25559984bc0b28_essex_horse_trials17

Sun, June 24

Moorland Farm, Far Hills

MARS Essex Horse Trials  

Horses Sports

USHJA Opens Member Nominations For 6 Board of Directors Positions

June 20, 2018

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The U.S. Hunter Jumper Association is pleased to open nominations for six Board of Directors positions — Secretary, Treasurer and four at-large directors. Until  Aug. 15, USHJA Senior Active and Associate members may nominate candidates for these open positions through their USHJA member account.

Members are allowed to nominate a single individual for multiple ...

Rutgers Equine Science Center Annual Summer Showcase Scheduled for July 11

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — The Equine Science Center at Rutgers University is hosting its annual "Summer Showcase" from 10 am to noon  on Wednesday, July 11 at the Equine Exercise Physiology Laboratory on College Farm Road on the George H. Cook Campus in New Brunswick. The Summer Showcase, similar to an open house, is a FREE event that is open to the public and perfect for any and ...

USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Stable Challenge Now Open

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The United States Hunter Jumper Association invites equestrians of all ages to put their horsemanship knowledge to the ultimate test in the 2018 USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Stable Challenge, presented by The Plaid Horse. The 30-day online quiz challenge is open to juniors and amateurs and brings barns together as teams to test their horsemanship knowledge for a chance to win ...

Horse Care Workshops at Lord Stirling Start June 23

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. — Somerset County Park Commission Lord Stirling Stable is offering Horse Care Workshop 101 for adults and youth seeking to gain experience and confidence around horses through a combination of non-riding activities and hands-on practice.

Horse Care Workshop 101 will be held at Lord Stirling Stable, 256 South Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge, NJ beginning Saturday June ...

The Parelli Foundation Seeks Volunteer Board Member

The Parelli Foundation is seeking a new board member to join our volunteer board. If you have experience with being on a non-profit board, have a passion for horses, and would like to help further our mission of helping to create a better world for horses and humans through natural horsemanship education, we encourage you to apply.

This is a remote/virtual position. Applicants must be United ...