Horses

See Justify's Triple Crown Journey In Photos & Video

The 2018 Belmont Stakes - Justify Credits: NBC Sports
2018 Preakness Stakes - Justify Credits: NBC Sports
2018 Kentucky Derby - Justify Credits: Kentucky Derby
13a3a222f5848d334e6c_justify_the_belmont_stakes_credit_adam_mooshian4.JPG
Justify wins the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of Thoroughbred Racing's Triple Crown with Mike Smith aboard. Credits: Adam Mooshian | NYRA
3d1366e8f74917be21c3_justify_the_belmont_stakes_credit_chelsea_durandA.JPG
Justify wins the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of Thoroughbred Racing's Triple Crown with Mike Smith aboard. Credits: Chelsea Durand | NYRA
1a19d0788ddc8b768d08_justify_the_belmont_stakes_credit_hugh_deucey.JPG
Justify wins the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of Thoroughbred Racing's Triple Crown with Mike Smith aboard. Credits: Hugh Deucey | NYRA
cb6bf48c663fc1aba522_justify_the_belmont_stakes_credit_zoe_metz.JPG
Justify wins the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of Thoroughbred Racing's Triple Crown with Mike Smith aboard. Credits: Zoe Metz | NYRA
d2a091267e061e4bd6f7_justify_the_belmont_stakes_adam_coglianese.JPG
Justify wins the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of Thoroughbred Racing's Triple Crown with Mike Smith aboard. Credits: Adam Coglianese | NYRA
c0c68deaef1ab9f738dd_justify_the_belmont_stakes_adam_coglianese2.JPG
Justify wins the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of Thoroughbred Racing's Triple Crown with Mike Smith aboard. Credits: Adam Coglianese | NYRA
24e28e8677d7013f5461_justify_the_belmont_stakes_adam_coglianese3.JPG
Justify wins the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of Thoroughbred Racing's Triple Crown with Mike Smith aboard. Credits: Adam Coglianese | NYRA
432104f6d3a3ca22b99b_justify_the_belmont_stakes_adam_coglianese4.JPG
Justify wins the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of Thoroughbred Racing's Triple Crown with Mike Smith aboard. Credits: Adam Coglianese | NYRA
1e690d9c85d0ec1af6c7_justify_the_belmont_stakes_brittlan_wall.JPG
The view of Belmont Park from above on Belmont Stakes day. Credits: Brittlan Wall | NYRA
be27ab166ea984b42d2d_justify_the_belmont_stakes_brittlan_wall2.JPG
Justify wins the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of Thoroughbred Racing's Triple Crown with Mike Smith aboard. Credits: Brittlan Wall | NYRA
895e4ead5b6e23084558_justify_the_belmont_stakes_brittlan_wall2__1_.JPG
Justify wins the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of Thoroughbred Racing's Triple Crown with Mike Smith aboard. Credits: Brittlan Wall | NYRA
734561d1effbb4657591_justify_the_belmont_stakes_brittlan_wall3.JPG
Justify parades for the cameras after winning the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of Thoroughbred Racing's Triple Crown with Mike Smith aboard. Credits: Brittlan Wall | NYRA
e582d1ac461ff6201596_justify_the_belmont_stakes_brittlan_wall4.JPG
Justify wins the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of Thoroughbred Racing's Triple Crown with Mike Smith aboard. Credits: Brittlan Wall | NYRA
ef4305e05dc472ea2782_justify_the_belmont_stakes_credit_adam_mooshian.JPG
Justify breaks from post position 1 in the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of Thoroughbred Racing's Triple Crown with Mike Smith aboard. Credits: Adam Mooshian | NYRA
9b7acc59a8ecb8007c28_justify_the_belmont_stakes_credit_amira_chichakly.JPG
Justify leads the way in the early going of the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of Thoroughbred Racing's Triple Crown with Mike Smith aboard. Credits: Amira Chichakly | NYRA
6dca2124a2c5f94a7d26_justify_the_belmont_stakes_credit_amira_chichakly2.JPG
Justify is led toward the track just before the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of Thoroughbred Racing's Triple Crown with Mike Smith aboard. Credits: Amira Chichakly | NYRA
13a3a222f5848d334e6c_justify_the_belmont_stakes_credit_adam_mooshian4.JPG

ELMONT, N.Y. — Justify proved he is a true champion when he made every pole a winning one in the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of Thoroughbred Racing's Triple Crown.

The 3-year-old son of Scat Daddy from the Ghostzapper mare Stage Magic defeated nine rivals in the mile and half “Test of Champions” that offered not only $1.5 million but the mantle of “greatness” to any horse that could win the longest race of the Triple Crown after convincing wins in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes a month earlier.

That mantle will rest lightly on the shoulders of Justify as he becomes only the second colt in the history of the Triple Crown to go into — and come out of — the Belmont undefeated. The first one to do it was Seattle Slew in 1977.

Sign Up for E-News

There were no surprises awaiting his rivals when Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert entered him for the Belmont last Monday. He won the Kentucky Derby by 2-1/2 lengths after racing close to the pace for the first three quarters.

He came back two weeks later and shed Good Magic coming out of the gate and then raced again on the front end beating a fast closing Bravazo by a half length.

They expected him to try for the lead coming from the Number 1 post position in the Belmont. They were right.

After a Derby and a Preakness on wet tracks, he caught a fast racing strip for the Belmont and immediately jumped to the lead when the gate opened and the bell rang. 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.

The brilliant red and gold silks of the China Horse Club were highly visible to the capacity crowd as the field turned for home leading by two. After the race, Smith said he didn't have much to do. “Every time I squeezed a little bit, he responded, the 52 year-old jockey said.

But, the race is best summed up by a pre-race conversation between Elliot Walden of WinStar Farms (one of the partners in Justify along with China Horse Club, Head of the Plains Partners and Starlight Racing) and Bob Baffert.

Walden (speaking to Baffert): “What did you tell Mike?”

Baffert's reply: “There's plenty of gas in the tank, Don't use it all up at once.”

Justify's romp resulted in a quarter in 23.37, a half in 48.11 and six furlongs in 1:13.21, a fairly snappy pace for a mile and half horse race. The final time of 2:28.18 was well off of Secretariat's 2:24 that was set in the 1973 Belmont — and may never be broken.

At the wire, it was the European invader Gronkowski second, Hofburg third and Vino Rosso fourth.

If he stays in the east, Justify now goes on to either the Grade 1 Haskell at Monmouth Park or the Jim Dandy at Saratoga.

In either case, he brings with him a record of six for six with earnings of $3.7 million.

Second Highest Handle In Belmont History

Belmont Stakes Day card, highlighted by Justify's Triple Crown triumph, generated all-sources handle of $137,954,895, the second-highest one-day handle in NYRA history behind Belmont Stakes Day in 2014.

With attendance of 90,327, on-track handle was $16,159,584.

All-sources handle for the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival was $168,975,295.

All-sources wagering on the 150th Belmont Stakes itself, carded as Race 11 of 13, was $72,702,815 with on-track handle totaling $6,884,907.

In 2015, the previous year with a Triple Crown on the line, all-sources handle on Belmont Stakes Day was $135,790,321.

The one-day record for all-sources handle was $151,109,373 on June 7, 2014, when California Chrome was bidding for the Triple Crown.

The Belmont Stakes wasn't the only race, the undercard attracted top horses in all age groups and genders.

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 Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Milltown/Spotswood

City Recognizes New Brunswick Ball Player Inducted In Women’s Hall of Fame

June 23, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - Chris Dailey grew up in the city, and played basketball for St. Peter's High School and  Rutgers University, and was on the team that won a national AIAW championship her senior year in college.

She became an assistant coach at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., then was an assistant to Rutgers coach Theresa Grentz before becoming an assistant coach on the staff of ...

Somerville: Immaculata High School Names Joan Silo Head of School

June 23, 2018

 

SOMERVILLE, NJ – A 16-year veteran of Catholic school education has been named the new head of school for Immaculata High School.

Joan Silo, Ed.S., most recently principal at St. Helen Catholic School in Vero Beach, Fla., will begin her new role on July 16, according to Msgr. Seamus F. Brennan, pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish and director of Immaculata High School.

In ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, July 14, 10:00 AM

Maplewood Memorial Library, Maplewood

Bag-of-Books Sale - Friends of Maplewood Library

Wed, July 25, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sings Conclude with Verdi ...

Middlesex County: Free Music, Fireworks and Fun in “A Revolutionary Celebration”

June 22, 2018

MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ -  Want your 4th of July fun to last 7 days? Then bring your family and join in Middlesex County’s “Revolutionary Celebration” for 2018! Our Office of Arts and History has planned events for June 30 and July 1-7 that are fun, educational, and a great way to honor the spirit of Independence Day. Explore Highland Park, New ...

More than the Fourth of July, Make it a Star Spangled Week in the Long Beach Island Region of NJ

June 22, 2018

STAFFORD AND LONG BEACH ISLAND - Summer 2018 starts now, so time to enjoy the beauty of the Jersey Shore. As families and friends gather for the summer holiday, there is plenty of options to assist in rounding out July 4 vacation and getaways.

With July 4 falling on a Wednesday, there are many events surrounding the holiday.

The award winning Surf and Sip Brew Trail itinerary is available ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

'Half Time' lights up Paper Mill stage

‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other ...