Sports

Justify wins Belmont to become 13th Triple Crown champion

Justify wins Belmont to become 13th Triple Crown champion

Belmont Stakes odds have Justify as the heavy favorite, as the Derby and Preakness victor looks to become just the 13th horse to win the Triple Crown.

"It was a steep learning curve for me personally when we started buying horse in the United States market because it was all new to us", said Wallace from the Belmont track. Executives from the investment firm oversee the breeding and horse ownership businesses.

Not since Seattle Slew has a horse managed to enter the Triple Crown flawless and exit it without a defeat.

The group prefers to operate out of the spotlight, according to the Times.

Just 12 horses have swept the Triple Crown, one of the rarest feats in sports.

Purchased for $500,000, Justify earned $800,000 for his Belmont win, giving him $3,798,000 in his brief career. "When they opened the gate, [jockey] Mike Smith took him to the lead and it was history after that".

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WinStar Farm CEO Elliott Walden has denied that a deal has been made and the New York Times last week reported that it may not be official until September so that Justify's owners can take advantage of tax laws dealing with capital gains. Justify is also running on the inside post, where no horse has won the Belmont since 1997. "He's now become a household name, and I'm looking forward to his next race just as much as you guys are". Once the horses come out of the final turn, they've still got a 1,097-yard (1,003 meters) run through the stretch, exhausting for a horse with little or no gas left in the tank. But given the poor conditions of the first two races, combined with the unique length of the Belmont, there are lots of challengers to block Justify's run at history. "He's so gifted. He's sent from heaven".

One owner believes that there was something suspicious about how the race was handled by Restoring Hope, a stablemate of Justify's, with both horses trained by Bob Baffert.

Smith got the colt into a relaxed rhythm under a moderate pace heading into the backstretch, and he had an easy trip from there.

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. Baffert, 65, had less than a year to train Justify who suffered a minor injury and didn't race his second year. Turning for home I could see Gronk flying and at that point thought we had a shot to get him if Justify was vulnerable at a mile and one half. "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?'".

Gronkowski, named for and partly owned by New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, returned $13.80 and $7 in his USA debut after arriving from England.