That Justify, a unique physical specimen with blazing early speed, was able to win the Derby at all off just three career races in 77 days, was not only an impressive training feat by Baffert but a testament to the horse's vast talent. Bravazo with Luis Saez aboard wins second with Tenfold with Ricardo Santana Jr. atop places.
Unbeaten Justify headed back to Churchill Downs on Sunday to rest up and train for a June 9 run at US thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown.
It will be another muddy track for a Triple Crown race, with Justify the overwhelming favorite entering Saturday's 143rd running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. After winning the most hard race of his career, Justify has the chance at the Belmont Stakes in NY on June 9 to accomplish the same rare feat Baffert's American Pharoah did in 2015. The headliners were rappers Post Malone and 21 Savage, with plenty of music provided between sets by DJs.
"I love what I see", Brown said after Good Magic jogged over the wet track. Conditions will be similar in Baltimore - it has rained all week, and more on race day would make for another sloppy track. He looks to become the 13th thoroughbred to pull off the incredible feat, which was most-recently accomplished by American Pharaoh. Those races started at 11:30 a.m.
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It is not what Belinda Stronach, the chairman and president of the Stronach Group, envisioned when she approved upgrades to the tents, entertainment and concessions for this year's event. Baffert also remained undefeated with Derby winners in the Preakness following Silver Charm, Real Quiet, War Emblem and American Pharoah.
Stronach says they have fingers crossed and are "still hoping there are gaps in the weather, especially during the race".
"I think the next race will be really big", the trainer said. "Somebody had to give, and I'm glad it wasn't us". "He looks terrific, he's doing well".
Both of those horses have something in common: Hall of Fame trainer Baffert. With Baffert praying for the wire at Pimlico, Justify won by a half-length after completing the race in 1:55.93.
The race was first run in 1867 and this year will be its 150th running. Baffert is 5 for 5 at the Preakness after winning the Derby on May 5. He won the Tampa Bay Derby in March and has three wins in five career races.