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Get to know Belmont Stakes Contender

Owner: China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners LLC, Starlight Racing, WinStar Farm
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Jockey: Mike Smith

2018 Preakness Replay

Get to Know Justify

Sire: Scat Daddy (Johannesburg)
Dam: Stage Magic (Ghostzapper)
Foaled: March 28, 2015
Breeder: John D. Gunther

Starts: 5
Wins: 5
Seconds: 0
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $2,998,000

Bettors’ Edge

By Jeremy Plonk

Justify: The Belmont has been Bob Baffert’s least-participated and least-won of his 14 career Triple Crown race victories. But he’s earned the white carnations twice with Point Given (2001) and Triple Crown winner American Pharoah (2015). Unbeaten in 6 tries, it’s a curious notable that Justify’s margin of victory has shrank in each start, dwindling all the way to a half-length in the Preakness. His Kentucky Derby was historically slow on the clock (2:04.20) and his Preakness a record-slow 97 on the Beyer scale. But both came under excessively wet track conditions and perhaps are no reason to worry whatsoever. I am bullish the favorite has the ability to best this bunch. His high end appears simply better than these. But I am hesitant to concede the race to him with what seems to be a cavalry that’s closing in on him. Jockey Mike Smith has been a maestro at Belmont Park over the decades, so he will give him every chance to make history. Smith won this race with Drosselmeyer (2010) and Palace Malice (2013). He’s clearly the horse to beat, but outside of American Pharoah, so, too were Big Brown, Smarty Jones and California Chrome, who looked as or more potent through two legs of the series.

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Justify Race History

Date Race Track Finish
May 19, 2018 Preakness Stakes (G1) Pimlico 1st
May 5, 2018 Kentucky Derby (G1) Churchill Downs 1st
April 7, 2018 Santa Anita Derby (G1) Santa Anita 1st
March 11, 2018 Allowance Santa Anita 1st
February 18, 2018 Maiden Santa Anita 1st