Arizona native brings home second Triple Crown victory in 4 years

Arizona native brings home second Triple Crown victory in 4 years

"I can't believe I'm here in NY winning it again".

"Give them the credit", said Baffert of WinStar. He has spent more than two decades covering the National Hockey League and just about every sports team in the NY metropolitan area. He didn't flinch when greeted by 90,327 roaring fans as he walked onto the track.

"The great ones, they just find another gear", Baffert said.

The big, powerful colt had proved his ability and speed in winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness in the first two jewels of the Triple Crown.

"To win six races in a short amount of time like he did is just an unbelievable feat on his part", Smith said. Justify's human handlers also made history.

With Justify's victory, Bob Baffert became the second trainer to win the Triple Crown twice. Fitzsimmons won in 1930 with Gallant Fox and in 1935 with Omaha.

Said Troutt, "I was yelling and screaming". Justify ended a three-year Triple Crown drought. He celebrated by grabbing white carnations from the winner's blanket and tossing them in the air. "But, man, for this horse to do it".

Justify defied all the odds on his way to achieving Triple Crown immortality. Justify's owners are betting on his global appeal. The last Triple Crown from that spot at the Belmont was Secretariat, 45 years ago to the day Saturday.

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Justify earned $800,000 for his Belmont win and boosted his bankroll to $3,798,000.

"When I worked him after the Preakness, American Pharoah, when he would breathe, he was like he was a machine".

Justify lived up to his billing as the prohibitive favorite in the Belmont Stakes with a wire-to-wire victory on Saturday. He says he's ridden plenty of incredible horses but that there is just something special about Justify. "He's now become a household name, and I'm looking forward to the next race just as much as you guys are".

Justify will break from the No. 1 post in the starting gate. Breaking from the less-than-desired No. 1 post, Smith gunned Justify to the lead and never looked back. There was a Hall-of-Fame trainer and a Hall-of-Fame jockey, side by side, sharing a moment and celebrating only the second horse to win the Triple Crown with an undefeated record. A talented but inexperienced colt, Hofburg finished second to Audible in the Florida Derby on March 31, which was his stakes debut. He did it right up on the pace, and everybody had an opportunity to take their shot.

The trainer said he anxious again when Justify made a move forward in the final turn.

Justify continued to lead when he reached the mile mark with a time of 1:38.09, but when he reached the head of the stretch, Vino Rosso made a run at him and was just a length behind. The 24-1 shot picked off a half-dozen rivals in taking up the chase down the lane. "Had I known better, the first eighth of a mile I would have thought it was a quarter-horse race, not the mile-and-a-half Belmont".

The next most impressive performance to Justify's was second-place Gronkowski's run from last after missing the break to within 1 3/4 lengths of a Triple Crown victor. In fact, until the Preakness Stakes, no contender had come within 2 1/2 lengths of Justify as he had to fend off Bravazo and Tenfold late. That could be a bit of a challenge for Justify and Bravazo, both of whom raced well in the mud; but it could mean good things for horses like Free Drop Billy and Noble Indy, who didn't.

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