SPORTS SPOTLIGHT: What’s Next For Triple Crown Winner Justify?
By Space Coast Daily // July 31, 2018
breeding rights have been sold for $75 million
It’s 2018, and for the second time in four years, we have a new Triple Crown Winner in Justify, following a long 37-year wait when American Pharoah achieved the feat in 2015.
Bob Baffert has trained both horses, and horse racing fans are eager to see if Baffert can repeat further success with Justify. So, when will we get these chance, and are we guaranteed to see Justify race again?
Justify is widely expected to race in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in Louisville, Kentucky on November 3. Before the Breeders’ Cup, Justify is likely to appear at one or two of the following events:
- July 29 – $1m Haskell Invitational at New Jersey’s Monmouth Park
- August 18 – $1m Pacific Classic at Del Mar
- August 25 – $1m Travers at Saratoga
The first or the latter appears the most likely. Baffert was quoted as saying, “The Haskell is the first option and the Travers. In a couple of weeks, we’ll breeze him back, and we’ll have an idea. We’ll sit down and figure it out. We’ll let the horse tell us.”
Whatever the race, it is a certainty that Unibet and other bookmakers specializing in horse racing, fans and the racing world on the whole; will be extremely interested to see how Justify fares against another top quality field.
If Justify races at Haskell, it will be the second time in three years that Bob Baffert has taken a Triple Crown Winner to the event. American Pharoah won the event in 2015 after taking a couple of months off and attracted a record crowd of 60,983.
If Justify does race at Monmouth Park, Baffert may look for him to emulate American Pharoah even more and compete in the Travers at Saratoga. American Pharoah was a let down in this race, disappointingly finishing second to Keen Ice.
American Pharoah did, however, win the Breeder’s Cup Classic later in the year, making him the sport’s first Grand Slam champion. Can Justify repeat this success under the same trainer? A successful entry thereby Justify will see further comparisons between the two recent Triple Crown Winners.
Will Justify even race again? With reports that his breeding rights have been sold for $75 million, there is no guarantee we will see him on the racetrack again, and almost certainly not after this year. Judging by the path taken by American Pharoah with the same trainer just three years ago, and Baffert comments, he certainly hopes this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Justify.
“He looks pretty bright,” said Baffert, “He just looks like he’s ready to go again. It’s the longest, quickest journey we’ve ever been on.”
Baffert wants to keep training Justify and emulate the success he had with American Pharoah. However, it is important to remember American Pharoah was a built and expected winner. Justify’s incredible success has taken many by surprise.
He never raced as a two-year-old, and McKinzie was the favorite for the Kentucky Derby before his injury. Later in the year, we will hopefully see Justify and McKinzie meet in the same race and provide some good competition for him.
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