Justify's Triple Crown win pushes breeding rights fee to $75 million

Doug Mendoza
June 13, 2018

He trained American Pharoah in 2015 when the horse won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes in Baltimore and Belmont Stakes in NY after a 37-year Triple Crown dry spell for thoroughbred horse racing.

It hardly seems like three years since the world witnessed American Pharoah capture the first Triple Crown in 37 years, but here we are again with Justify, as he attempts to become the 13 horse in history to win all three jewels - the Kentucky Derby (GI), Preakness Stakes (GI) and, now, the Belmont Stakes (GI).

Mike Smith, the jockey riding Justify in Saturday night's Belmont Stakes, could have said anything in his first television interview.

In sweeping the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont, Smith becomes the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown.

The late bloomer won the Belmont Stakes by 1¾ lengths on Saturday, giving the sport its 13th Triple Crown champion.

With the win, Justify, who did not race as a two-year-old, improved to 6-0 in his young career, which started just 111 days ago.

The fashion scene at the Belmont Stakes is as diverse as NY itself.

Despite a deal for his breeding rights worth a reported $75 million, the connections of Triple Crown victor Justify plan to continue racing him through the end of this year, they said Sunday.

Smith says Justify is both smart and in great shape.

Baffert had fretted after Justify drew the No. 1 post, a spot he detests for his horses.

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Bob Baffert became the second trainer to win the Triple Crown twice.

The big chestnut colt with the appetite to match burst onto the national scene with a 2½-length victory on a sloppy track in the Derby. It's the pinnacle of a career that has seen him win more than 5,400 races, including a record 26 in the Breeders' Cup, and now seven Triple Crown races.

Restoring Hope finished in eighth place out of 10 horses, while Justify won the race.

While it's nice to see a Triple Crown victor, it's hardly profitable for bettors.

Justify's quick ascent to North American prominence will undoubtedly put pressure on Glennwood to produce another Triple Crown contender.

"I was just surprised on how well he handled the atmosphere at the Derby with the crowd, how he handled it at the Preakness because every time he shows up people start yelling and screaming and he just looks at them like, 'Thank you, '" Baffert said.

The way things went this year, don't be surprised to see Smith riding a good one in next year's Triple Crown races. "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".

Trainer Todd Pletcher also has two horses in the field - 8-1 Vino Rosso and 30-1 Noble Indy.

And even more so for Cambridge bloodstock agent Michael Wallace because he was one of those responsible for choosing racing's newest superstar from the yearling sales.

Other reports by GizPress

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