Belmont Stakes Preview: Justify takes his shot at the Triple Crown

Belmont Stakes Preview: Justify takes his shot at the Triple Crown

ELMONT, N.Y. (WAVE) - Another day, another impressive gallop by Triple Crown hopeful Justify.

"Just went another smooth, good day," trainer Bob Baffert said. "Hes just moving over the track really well. This is what a trainer hopes to see the day before his horse runs."

Despite the grueling five week stretch of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and now preparing for the Belmont Stakes, the three-year-old son of Scat Daddy seems to thriving.

"He looks no different than American Pharoah did coming in here," Baffert said. American Pharoah, also trained by Baffert, snapped a 37 year Triple Crown drought in 2015.

Exercise rider Humberto Gomez has been pulled around the mile and half over at Belmont Park the last two days.

"You know what, honestly he is built to run that long to me. He can handle everything, the media and everything. He's just a very professional, very strong horse," Gomez said.

To win the Triple Crown, Justify will have beat a field of nine others, that's two more than any of the 12 previous Triple Crown winners have faced in the Belmont.

Wayne Lukas will saddle one of those nine, Preakness runner-up Bravazo.

"What a competitive field, I mean it isn't just Justify, this thing is a little more wide open than a lot of people think," Lukas said, and then quickly added, I'd be foolish for us to think we're gonna get a base on balls here, no way. I think if we're gonna beat him, we're gonna have to go to the well and show our best because I don't see him backing up."

Baffert and Lukas enter Saturday tied with 14 wins in Triple Crown races.

"You cannot count out Wayne Lukas, he'd love to go 15 on me," Baffert said.

A few things will be different for Justify on Saturday, the track could be fast, a change of pace from the muddy going in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. That's at least what Baffert's personal weatherman is predicting, his 13 year-old son Bode.

"Well the forecast is looking pretty good. at the race time itself, which is about 6:37, we should be seeing partly cloudy skies, temperatures in the low 70's, chance of showers is going to linger, as the system, it's going to move to the south, but that chance of showers is going to remain for the northern part," Bode predicts.

The other change, the silks that jockey Mike Smith will wear. After donning the green star of Winstar Farm for the last three races, now it's time to switch back to the red silks of co-owner The China Horse Club.

"He won his second race with them on and Abel Tasman won the Oaks, I've had a lot of luck in those silks," Bob Baffert said.

You will see the Belmont Stakes live on WAVE 3 News and NBC on Saturday. Coverage begins at 4 p.m.

(Copyright 2018 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.)