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Twitter Erupts as Justify Wins 143rd Preakness, Keeps Triple Crown Shot Intact

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2018

Justify with Mike Smith atop wins the 143rd Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico race track, Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Baltimore. Bravazo with Luis Saez aboard wins second with Tenfold with Ricardo Santana Jr. atop places. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)
Mike Stewart/Associated Press

Justify's Triple Crown challenge remains on track after winning the 2018 Preakness Stakes on a dreary Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

Good Magic ran closest to Justify for much of the race, but it was Bravazo who mounted a late surge to try to steal the win over the final stretch. Instead, Justify held off the field.

Here are the full results and payouts from the race:

     

Preakness Stakes Payout (Based on $2 Bet), per NBC Sports

1st: Justify (Win: $2.80; Place: $2.80; Show: $2.60)

2nd: Bravazo (Place: $7.60; Show: $4.80)

3rd: Tenfold (Show: $6.80)

      

Preakness Stakes Results List

Win ($900,000): Justify; Jockey: Mike Smith; Trainer: Bob Baffert

Place ($300,000): Bravazo; Jockey: Luis Saez; Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas

Show ($165,000): Tenfold; Jockey: Ricardo Santana; Trainer: Steve Asmussen

4th ($90,000): Good Magic; Jockey: Jose Ortiz; Trainer: Chad Brown

5th ($45,000): Lone Sailor; Jockey: Irad Ortiz; Trainer: Thomas Amoss

6th: Sporting Chance; Jockey: Luis Contreras; Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas

7th: Diamond King; Jockey: Javier Castellano; Trainer: John Servis

8th: Quip; Jockey: Florent Geroux; Trainer: Rodolphe Brisset

     

The conditions at Pimlico were a major storyline leading up to and during the race. In addition to the steady rainfall that left the track sloppy, heavy fog also limited the visibility. Television viewers had a hard time following the action:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Justify wins the #Preakness! https://t.co/5xVUdZ4zbU

SB Nation @SBNation

Watching the Preakness like https://t.co/bYwYtHZFZ2

Born Salty @cjzero

Your Preakness update, there are horses out there https://t.co/4sjFQMOjGR

Jeremy Balan @BH_JBalan

The Preakness that largely nobody saw. Wish I could tell you what happened from the quarter pole to the eighth pole. Looked like Justify by a half-length over Bravazo. Tenfold third, Good Magic fourth after dueling with Justify.

Taking that into account, the fact Justify not only won but did so in convincing fashion only illustrates his overall strength. He also battled tough conditions at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago, so The Athletic's Chris Vannini considered him something of a slop specialist:

Chris Vannini @ChrisVannini

Justify is the 2017 Michigan State football of horses with these bad-weather wins.

Some, however, will reasonably contend Justify's victory wasn't altogether dominant, especially given what was a relatively weaker field, with some trainers holding out their horses for later events.

Considering how much needs to go right for a horse to win the Triple Crown, it's not too hard to find some worrying signs from Justify's performance Saturday:

Dan Wolken @DanWolken

Justify was more Silver Charm than American Pharoah today. I don’t think this race will scare anyone off from the Belmont.

Christopher Hansen @ChrisHansenNFL

Justify looks like he ran out of gas at the end. Could see him struggling to close it out against fresh horses in the Belmont.

Marc Weinberg @MarcWeinbergWX

The Belmont should be interesting. Justify was getting caught at the end of the Preakness. At a 1 1/2 mile, one has to wonder if Justify will have enough at the distance.

Mike Francesa @MikeFrancesa

I give credit to Good Magic connections for taking race to the big horse. It will be a far more competitive field at the Belmont. This won’t scare anybody off.

Bravazo was a 20-1 underdog entering the Preakness Stakes, according to OddsShark, so a runner-up finish was a great result.

The Preakness is the shortest of the three Triple Crown races (1 3/16 miles). Had it been any longer, Bravazo might have pulled off the upset:

Anthony Becht @Anthony_Becht

Bravazo......dang #PreaknessStakes

Kevin Negandhi @KNegandhiESPN

Bravazo was so close. Justify is fun to watch.

Doug Gottlieb @GottliebShow

Bravazo was coming boy...

After Bravazo and Good Magic pushed Justify to the brink Saturday, his odds of becoming the 13th Triple Crown winner could be in jeopardy. For the time being, Justify and trainer Bob Baffert can revel in Preakness victory.

ESPN's Jeannine Edwards marveled at Baffert's record:

Jeannine Edwards @jeanninee12

Your #Preakness winner #Justify. Hard to believe Bob Baffert has another shot at a Triple Crown https://t.co/LlGBYk5wE0

According to Daily Racing Form's Jay Privman, Baffert has collected 14 Triple Crown victories over his career, which ties him with D. Wayne Lukas for the most all time among trainers.

The focus now shifts to the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, on June 9.

History isn't on Justify's side, beyond just the massive drought between Affirmed's Triple Crown win in 1978 and American Pharoah's in 2015. According to ESPN Stats & Info, only one horse has maintained an unbeaten record and won the Triple Crown (Seattle Slew in 1977). Three horses were undefeated through the Preakness Stakes before losing at Belmont Park.

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