Justify Races To Triple Crown Victory

Essex County Warden, Tom Bain (in red), of the Lakeshore Horse Racing Association says the industry is in jeopardy after the latest funding offer from Ontario Lottery and Gaming on 1 April 2018.Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Essex County Warden, Tom Bain (in red), of the Lakeshore Horse Racing Association says the industry is in jeopardy after the latest funding offer from Ontario Lottery and Gaming on 1 April 2018.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

( WINDSOR, ON ) For on the second time in the history of the history of Triple Crown of the thoroughbred racing Saturday’s winner, the 3rd year old  colt Justify, claimed the race undefeated. The big muscular Chestnut colt, which earned the rail and the #1 post position after finishing first at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, raced out to the head of the 10 house pack and never conceded the lead throughout the 1 1/2 mile course.

Just as impressive it was the 2nd Triple Crown victory, in the 4 short years since American Pharoah, which was also fashioned by American training legend Bob Baffert, croosed the finish line first in 2015. Baffert, whom also had great racing pedigree of his decease parents (albeit felt their guidance spiritually) was noticely moved as he struggled emotionally to contain his composure, reflecting upon this and his first win.

Although Justify had proven himself a winner, on a rain soaked course in the Kentucky Derby and the fog laden Preakness, he proved himself able in idea racing conditions at the Belmont Stakes Park in Elmont, New York on Saturday evening as well. With the lion’s share of a $1.5 million plus purse at stake, his hall of fame jockey, Mike Smith, guided his mount flawlessly to claim the top prize.

When the dust settled, and before the mud he kicked back upon the remainder of the pack could dry, his stock raised from a little over over 1 million dollars before the race to 75 million. No longer for his future racing potential but as the industry goes, for his studding pedigree.

He himself was sired by Scat Daddy out of the Ghost -zapper mare Stage Magic.  Perhaps the reason his trainer took such a keen interest in his upside when he first spotted him. Bafferd’s intuition has paid off in spades as Justify is also the only horse to have won the triple crown without having a single start as a 2 year old.

In fact his first race was on on February 18th of this year. To have raced 5 times over the ensuing 16 weeks without injury or any loss of weight and strength speaks of his preparedness for Saturday’ historic outcome.

While it is doubtful that a breeder or trainer from the Lakeshore Horse Racing Association will developed a racing creature of this calibre anytime soon, the high calibre of pacers and trotters trained locally for the breeders cup at Woodbine, no doubt drew some eyes to the TV screen during the 150th running of this years Triple Crown Series. With live betting on horse races now available at the Dresden track they may have even been some personal gains on Justify’s heavily favored winning outcome locally.

With all of the odds in his favour to win, it’s no wonder Bafferd and the China Horse Club ‘s ownership of Justify turned back to Mike Smith, whom rode him to victory in the Preakness to steer him over the course Saturday as well.  Not too mention that Smith was recently inducted into the Horse Jockey’s Hall of Fame having won 2 Kentucky Derbies, Preakness and 2 Belmont Stakes previously.

Even at 52 years of age (now the eldest of any Triple Crown Winner), the training and ownership team had every confidence in his ability to manage there racing history interests. Accordingly the win was a double Triple Crown in that it established an unprecedented winning horse biography, jockeying record with respect to age, and a trainers’ record with regard to the shortest time to repeat as Triple Crown champion  – as the overall winningest team in thoroughbred racing history.

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Kim Elliott
Kim's first foray into sports writing was for The Lance student newspaper at the University of Windsor. While broadcasting at CJAM and with OUA.TV, he belonged to an award-winning sports media team which picked up the 2013-14 Lancer A honours. In turn, Kim began broadcasting and writing for the Windsor Express, of the National Basketball League of Canada, for WE-TV, and now at The Square. Kim has obtained a Bachelor of Human Kinetics (Hons) and a degree in Education from the University of Windsor. Email Kim Elliott