Belmont Stakes 2018: Results, payouts, order of finish

Baffert, 65, became the second trainer to win two Triple Crowns, joining the late James "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons, whose triumphs came in 1930 and '35 with Gallant Fox and Omaha, respectively.

Justify is on a winning streak.

The chestnut colt became the second undefeated horse to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont, improving to 6-0 in a racing career that began on February 18.

Another monster finish from Justify, which gave the undefeated horse just the 13th Triple Crown in American horse racing history, made Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert victorious at Saturday's 2018 Belmont Stakes and marked a historic win for this year's conqueror of the Apollo Curse.

The 37-year wait for the Triple Crown of horse racing, mercifully ended three years ago when wonderful American Pharoah crossed the finish line first at the 2015 Belmont Stakes, was at the same time exasperating, demoralizing, and borderline comical.

ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell writes that Saturday's victory in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes pushed the value of Triple Crown victor Justify to an all-time record $75 million. Restoring Hope, who like Justify is trained by Baffert, last ran May 5 but not in the Derby. Coolmore purchased breeding rights to the 2015 Triple Crown victor American Pharoah from Zayat Stables late in the colt's 2-year-old season or early in his 3-year-old year. But Gunther opted to follow his gut with this decision, which came long before Justify's emergence as a champion racehorse.

"His mechanics, his motion, just the way he did it. ...

This horse is starting to act like Pharoah", Baffert told The Associated Press. Baffert won in 2015 with American Pharoah.


The 37-year-old Wallace was part of buying team that purchased Justify when China Horse Club was still relatively new to the North American yearling market.

However, Baffert has seen similarities in his stride, his growth and his potential.

"It never gets old", Baffert said. "When he was that far back early, I said to myself, 'This is not going to end well.' He's just so far back, and there are quality horses in front of him, and then I saw the fractions and said, 'How is this horse going to close?' And this horse is getting there".

The future may be unknown or undetermined for Justify, but Baffert wasn't ready to stop glowing about what transpired Saturday.

He was assigned odds of 12-1 on the morning line, and the snickering from handicappers began: How many people will wager on this horse just because of his name? "That's his job, to protect the other horse and it worked for them".

Abel Tasman won the $750,000 Ogden Phipps - with jockey Mike Smith, who also rode Justify to the big win - and then Hopportunity took the $400,000 Brooklyn Invitational.

Smith says Justify is both smart and in great shape.

"He knows when he sees me it's time to do something serious, you know? I was blown away", Mara said via the New York Post.


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