Justify Wins 2018 Belmont, Completes Triple Crown

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJune 9, 2018

ELMONT, NY - JUNE 07: Justify gets a bath after working out during preparations for the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 7, 2018 in Elmont, New York. (Photo by Scott Serio/Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images)
Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images

Justify's Triple Crown bid is complete. 

On Saturday, the prized three-year-old colt bolted out of the first post on the rail and won the 150th Belmont Stakes wire-to-wire to become the 13th Triple Crown winner in horse racing history. 

The triumphant performance allowed jockey Mike Smith to win his first Triple Crown, while trainer Bob Baffert secured his second in four years, following a historic run with American Pharoah in 2015. 

"I think I see a lot of resemblance in these two, the way they move," Baffert said prior to Saturday's race, according to CNN. "When I worked him after the Preakness, American Pharoah, when he would breathe, he was like he was a machine. And this horse is getting there."

Baffert and James Fitzsimmons (1930 and 1935) are the only men in history to train multiple Triple Crown winners. 

Prior to Saturday's historic feat, Justify—who is still undefeated since making his debut in February—won the Kentucky Derby by two-and-a-half lengths and held off a fierce charge from Bravazo to snare a title at the Preakness. 

Bravazo returned to the track Saturday at Belmont Park, but he couldn't claim a breakthrough. Neither could Hofburg, whose sire, Tapit, had fathered three of the past four Belmont winners. 

Now etched into the sport's lore, Justify will become the gold standard for horses looking to replicate his Triple Crown stylings.

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