It worked to perfection as Smith put an exclamation point on his illustrious career, guiding Justify to victory in the 1½-mile race that was over with an eighth of a mile to go. The crowd has been capped at 90,000. Twenty-three times a horse has won the first two legs of the Triple Crown only to be denied horse racing's ultimate glory by failing to win the Belmont Stakes in NY.
Justify is 5-0 in a career that began with his first race in February.
Justify accomplished a lot in a very short time.
Scat Daddy's bloodlines include Canadian-breds Nijinsky (an English Triple Crown champion), Northern Dancer and Storm Bird.
"I can't believe I'm here in NY winning it again".
Three years later, a strapping chestnut colt named Justify, with a white blaze, a sweeping stride and an unblemished record, came back to the site where American Pharoah had vanquished horse racing's ghosts - with the same trainer, but his own shot at making history.
"Justify has surprised me and others throughout his life", she told The Canadian Press. "This effort has reinforced our belief that America is a great place to do racing", said Teo Ah Khing, founder of the China Horse Club that is a co-owner of Justify. "When the half-brother was foaled he was lying in the stall and his legs were so long that I said to Tanya, 'Well, here's one we can't sell'". Where Justify has run a half-dozen races in four months, this will be Hofburg's fifth race. The only other unbeaten Triple Crown victor was Seattle Slew in 1977.
Justify, the 13th horse ever to win the Triple Crown, is partially owned by a company controlled by the top employees of Jewish investor George Soros.
Coming so close to American Pharoah's Triple Crown win has its advantages. "He's now become a household name, and I'm looking forward to his next race just as much as you guys are". That said, in nine starts he only has two wins and has never lived up to the hype that surrounded him as a two-year-old. Smith will be aboard Justify in the colt's bid to become racing's 13th Triple Crown victor.
The first horse to load in the gate, Justify stayed so still and steady as the other nine followed suit that Smith anxious for a moment that he might not break at all. Restoring Hope, who like Justify is trained by Baffert, last ran May 5 but not in the Derby.
"My thought turning for home was that he had a shot to get him if Justify was vulnerable at mile and a half", said Chad Brown, who trains Gronkowski. "This horse, I'm sure there was millions of people screaming at their TV wanting to see it done".
The Patriots, of course, were victim to the Giants in both Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI, where tight end Rob Gronkowski just narrowly missed hauling in a hail mary on the final play of the game.