Triple Crown victor Justify returned to Churchill Downs for a little rest Monday, arriving just before a thunderstorm and greeted by camera-clicking fans intent on getting a shot of horse racing's newest superstar. None of the other nine horses had a chance to catch him. The Triple Crowns of Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and Affirmed, coming as they did after a quarter of a century without, cast the sport in a bright white light that demanded attention. Assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes, groom Eduardo "Lalo" Luna, and exercise rider Humberto Gomez accompanied Justify on the van ride and flight. He had expressed cautious confidence in the lead up to the race, saying afterward he was impressed Justify had "showed that brilliance".
Baffert has trained more winners in Triple Crown races (15) than anyone - he also trained 2015 Triple Crown champion American Pharoah.
Justify is the first Triple Crown victor to face that many rivals in Belmont.
"Everybody thinks I'm so opposed to Saratoga", he said.
Triple Crown victor Justify is ready to start the next portion of his career, becoming the most valuable stud horse in the world.
For now, the owners of Justify - which also includes Head of Plains Partners and Starlight Racing - are taking a circumspect approach to the horse's future.
At the wire, it was the European invader Gronkowski second, Hofburg third and Vino Rosso fourth.
"It's been the longest, quickest journey", a hoarse-sounding Baffert said as light rain fell outside Justify's barn.
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Belmont Stakes Day card, highlighted by Justify's Triple Crown triumph, generated all-sources handle of $137,954,895, the second-highest one-day handle in NYRA history behind Belmont Stakes Day in 2014.
A horse must win all three races to achieve the Triple Crown. Superior horse. I mean, he could have won every race on the undercard today.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Triple Crown victor Justify has returned to Churchill Downs to rest as the track where the quest began prepares to celebrate the milestone.
Repole said he thought stewards should take a look at the race.
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"[Repole] wanted me to be on the lead, but I didn't have enough speed to get to the lead", Castellano told the Daily Racing Form.
All-sources wagering on the 150th Belmont Stakes itself, carded as Race 11 of 13, was $72,702,815 with on-track handle totaling $6,884,907.
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