So, what's next for Triple Crown victor Justify?

So, what's next for Triple Crown victor Justify?

Justify won the Belmont Stakes to become 13th Triple Crown victor and second in four years. "He was blowing pretty good, he got a good blow out of (the Preakness), but he wasn't as exhausted as we thought he was". So when American Pharoah won the Triple Crown, the hoards of joyous horse racing fans shook Belmont Park, right outside New York City, to its core. "But the thing that has me a bit anxious is the last horse to win the Belmont drawing the rail was Empire Maker in 2003 - in a six-horse field". He got a wide trip in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and by some accounts, should have been awarded Horse of the Year based on his previous races.

The Mt. Vernon native owns Winstar Farms in Kentucky and has had horses win all three of horseracing's Triple Crown races, just never in the same year.

What makes Justify's accomplishment more remarkable is that the horse became so valuable in 111 days from his first race on February 18 to Saturday, when he became the 13th victor of the Triple Crown. The two horses share the same trainer in Bob Baffert. He said: "I'm so happy for Mike Smith, there's no one more deserving than him".

Justify has immortalized his name and join such horses as Whirlaway, Count Fleet, Citation and Secretariat.

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Smith said: "This horse is so gifted - he's sent from heaven".

Justify's triumph embellished Baffert's list of career achievements, as well, making him only the second trainer to win two Triple Crowns (along with the late James "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons, whose triumphs came in 1930 and '35, with Gallant Fox and Omaha, respectively). Finishing a half-length ahead of Bravazo made it by far Justify's closest victory of his five, but it counts just the same. He took his hand away to give Justify a periodic breath, then gave him a squeeze when he wanted more.

Earlier, Baffert and Smith teamed to win the $750,000 Ogden Phipps with Abel Tasman.

"I'm feeling pretty in awe of the horse", Baffert said. Questions about his stamina deepened at the Preakness, where he exhausted over another muddy track and held on to win by ½ a length. He passed that acid test by three lengths. "And if not, it just won't".

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