The Belmont Stakes take place this weekend on Long Island, it’s 150th anniversary, and this could be a very special race for one horse in particular. Justify is aiming to become only the second horse to win the Triple Crown since 1978, with American Pharoah the last horse to do so back in 2015. Justify managed to secure victories in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, with all eyes now on this weekend’s big race.
If Justify did manage to become a Triple Crown winner, it would also be a great achievement for trainer Bob Baffert too, as he would become the second trainer in history to have steered two horses to Triple Crown glory. Baffert, who also trained American Pharoah, has already drawn comparisons between the two horses. “I think I see a lot of resemblance in these two, the way they move. When I worked with him after the Preakness, American Pharoah, when he would breathe, he was like a machine. And this horse is getting there,” he said.
Justify, ridden by 52-year-old jockey Mike Smith, will be running from the number one post at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday and as things stand is seen as the favourite to win the race as he attempts to become only the 13th Triple Crown winner in history. In many people’s eyes, the number one slot can make things difficult for a runner and trainer Bob Baffert said, “I never like to draw the rail” following the draw at Citi Field earlier this week.
However, with Justify in such great form, Baffert and co will be hoping that this can help him to victory, regardless of his starting position. Justify, the son of Scat Daddy, will face stiff competition from runners such as Hofburg, who managed to finish seventh in the derby. Vino Rosso and Bravaso, who was runner up in the Preakness, are also seen as having an outside chance. Followers of this huge race that could see history in the making, could check out the odds on Betpoint, which is just one of the many online bookmaker sites that will be covering this epic race.
Vino Rosso’s trainer, Todd Pletcher, has recognised the mammoth task his runner will face as he attempts to stop Justify on his way to Triple Crown glory. He said, “I think, like all of us, we need Justify to wake up on the wrong side of the bed to have a chance.” So, Justify is certainly looking good ahead of the Belmont Stakes, even in the eyes of his rivals. If he does manage to secure victory, he will also break the record for the most number of rivals beaten during his Triple Crown run too.
There has been a total of 23 horses in Belmont Stakes history to win from the number one position, which makes it the position where most wins have come from over the years, but there hasn’t been a winner from the rail since 2003 when Empire Maker accomplished it. Bob Baffert will certainly be hoping Justify can buck the trend of the last 15 years, with Justify going on to romp home.