March 20, 2019

Triple Crown Hopeful Justify Arrives Wednesday, Trains Thursday at Belmont

Justify arrived at Belmont Park on Wednesday and trained on “Big Sandy” Thursday morning–galloping 1 1/2 miles (once around) in preparation for his Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday (all photos by Z).

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner is looking to become the 13th Triple Crown winner and only the second since 1979. He’d also become just the second undefeated Triple Crown winner and the first not to race as a two-year-old.

So far it looks like all systems go for the 4-to-5 morning line favorite, as Justify’s training at Churchill Downs preceding his New York arrival mirrored what American Pharoah did when he won the Triple Crown in 2015.

“There’s always pressure,” said Justify’s trainer Bob Baffert who is looking to join Jim Fitzsimmons as the only person to train two Triple Crown winner. “[Justify] is strong and willing, and as long as he’s strong and willing and able, it’s up to him to get the mile-and-a-half.”

Baffert also trained American Pharoah to Triple Crown glory in 2015. He was the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978 and snapped Baffert’s four-race losing streak with a Triple Crown on the line (Silver Charm, Real Quiet, and War Emblem). Fitzsimmons trained Gallant Fox and Omaha.