DANG! Justify owned that race! Won by (I think) 2 1/2 lengths! He made history as the first horse since 1882 to win the Kentucky Derby and not race as a two year old.
Bob Baffert also trained American Pharaoh to the Triple Crown win in 2015. The NBC analysts said that Justify is potentially a better horse than American Pharaoh even though he has a lot less racing experience.
I thought Justify ran a freakishly good race. The video of him this morning is on line. Baffert was walking him in kind of a tight circle and it looked like he took one or two bad steps, seemed to be favoring his left hind. Hopefully it was just the footing and being a bit sore after the race. His Beyer was a 103! I think maybe he has run triple digit Beyers in all 4 of his races, amazing. Mike Smith said Justify wanted to take off again as the horses were coming up to him on the gallop out. Hope he is okay!
Kentucky Derby winner Justify has developed a skin condition that will be checked by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
Dr. Mary Scollay, the equine medical director of the KHRC, said Monday evening that the commission plans on looking at Justify within the next 24 hours.
The horse reportedly has a condition known as "scratches," a skin rash, on his left hind foot. The rash often appears when moisture or debris is trapped in a horse's feathers (hairs on some horses' lower legs), causing minor inflammation. The muddy track at Churchill Downs on Saturday may have contributed.
Bob Baffert, Justify's trainer, said in a press release Monday that he was not concerned.
"It was sensitive there," Baffert said. "It's like a diaper rash, what he's got. He looked great today."
Watching NBC - Bob Costas is interviewing Justify’s jockey Mike Smith. Smith seems cool and confident. Before this, NBC aired a fluff piece on Mike Smith that put virtually ever one they did during the Winter Olympics to shame.
He handled the mile and a quarter of the derby fine, and IIRC he rebroke after the finish line when horses were trying to pass him on the gallop out. Even today, I read that no horses passed him on the gallop out. I agree he looked tired today, but he looked Good Magic in the eye almost the whole way. Good Magic folded, Justify kept going. Mike pushed him but did not have to get after him as much as I thought. The 3 weeks rest will hopefully be enough. But we'll see! I hope he does it, but I won't be surprised either way, I guess. Have to see how he comes out of today's race. I did see video of him walking back to the barn after the race and he was bouncing.
Wow, congrats to Team Justify! The weather conditions for the race looked so yucky! I would love to see another Triple Crown winner, but even if it doesn't happen, Justify is still an amazing horse. On to the Belmont!
Justify drew the #1 post in the Belmont. Post position is not all that important in such a long race, but I still like it. He can bounce out of the gate and shoot straight ahead and save ground right from the beginning.
Do you think Audible (third place in the KD) would have had a chance to catch Justify in the Belmont? Both horses are owned by the same ownership group but trained by different trainers. Audible did not run in the Preakness, and it was decided not to run Audible in the Belmont after Justify won a fog-filled race at the Preakness at least a half length to a ahead, but with other horses closing at the finish (likely due to Justify's testing battle with Good Magic for most of the race).
Audible (who was a KD favorite) likely might have made things more interesting for Justify in the Belmont. Congrats to Justify for three well-run races! He's a big strapping beautiful horse with a long, ground-covering stride. Perhaps he intimidates some of the other horses.
It looked like Baffert's strategy for the Belmont was to use one of Justify's stablemates to pace the race in order to keep the fractions reasonable and to give Justify the best chance for the stretch run. None of the other horses looked like they were close to truly challenging Justify, but Gronkowski sure came on strong from dead last to take second.
Baffert admits that American Pharoah is his first love, and he believes AP could have beat Justify. It doesn't diminish Justify's remarkable feat though. Surely Secretariat could have beaten AP and Justify, as well as most other Triple Crown winners.
I wonder when they might race Justify again since he's undefeated. They will probably be selective how and where they race him, so as not to risk tarnishing his value. Maybe Audible and Justify will match up again down the road.
After checking out the KD race again, it looks to me like Justify beat Audible fair and square there, and Audible was also third behind Good Magic in the KD. As mentioned earlier, Good Magic battled Justify in the Preakness. That was a fog-ridden race. Good Magic challenged Justify on the rail until the stretch when Justify pulled away, and Good Magic faded to place fourth, but never gave up. Good Magic's trainer said GM should have been held off the pace since he's not a front-running horse. Plus, he didn't have a good position being pressed on the inside. GM was not entered into the Belmont due to not being considered a horse who could run well at that distance.
That being the case, it seems as if Justify is the cream of the crop and likely would have won Triple Crown even with Audible entered in the Belmont. In any case, the ownership was not taking a chance in running Audible against Justify with the high money stakes involved (and Audible was also reportedly not in game shape for the Belmont; he's being prepped for other races). Both Mike Smith and trainer Baffert say that Justify is a very intelligent horse with great calm and grit.
Justify is a freak. No one was catching him today. Totally focused, shot out of the gate like a rocket, no need for another horse to set the pace, doing it all on his own until Mike asked him to run in the stretch. I hope he will run the rest of the year. Would love to see him get a classic win too.
No doubt about it winner. Justify is the real deal. Read his breeding rights been sold already to Coolmore, so most likely won’t run his 4year old season. I would have loved to see him in the Dubai World Cup. Someone on NBC’s broadcast posited that Audible didn’t run just in case he did win and it caused damage to Justify’s stud fees. Who knows?
That’s conspiracy theory stuff, @skipaway , about Audible. Possible, but the trainer said he was not training well enough for the Belmont. So if he is not in the running for a triple crown, why risk anything with Audible? Also, Winstar issued a press release prior to the Belmont saying nothing had been finalized with regards to breeding rights. I have no doubt Coolmore wants him, because of Scat Daddy. And I never thought he would run as a 4-year-old once he won the Derby and now especially, deal or no deal. Insurance cost would be astronomical. But I am just hoping he will run through the rest of this year. Two sets of his owners are racing-only groups, not breeding, so they may want him to continue running. I guess we’ll see. First I imagine they will give him a break. Unbelievable how much he’s done in such a short period of time!
So it is looking less likely that Justify will run again. He’s been taken out of training due to a filling in his ankle. I don’t want to see anything happen to him, but I’m pretty sad to think his racing career might be done, after 6 races in 4 months.
And, Victor Espinoza was in an accident yesterday, where the horse he was riding suffered a cardiac event and died, falling abruptly. Sounds like Victor was lucky not to be more seriously injured but he fractured his C3 vertebrae. The horse was Bobby Abhu Dhabi, and as a G2 stakes winner. Very sad when these things happen.