Justify wins the Triple Crown

Justify wins the Triple Crown
Justify (Source: Dan Dry)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Justify has taken his place in thoroughbred racing's most prestigious club. He is now a Triple Crown champion.

Justify breezed past the competition at the Belmont, to capture the third and final jewel.

He becomes the 13th horse to win the Triple Crown, and the first since American Pharoah in 2015. He also faced the largest Belmont field of any of the 13 Triple Crown champions.

At age 52, Jockey Mike Smith becomes the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown, and trainer Bob Baffert brings home his second Triple Crown championship.

Fellow Derby contenders like Vino Rosso and Bravazo looked to make the 1.5 miles a challenge, but Justify did what he's done over the last five weeks, showed explosive energy to rise above his competition.

After the first two legs were in the slop, a beautiful day panned out for Justify's coronation in Elmont, New York.

This comes as no surprise to Baffert, who earlier in the week said the horse was looking and feeling loose and energetic as ever.

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

Justify joins American Pharoah, Affirmed, Seattle Slew, Secretariat, Citations, Assault, Count Fleet, Whirlaway, war Admiral, Omaha, Gallant Fox and Sir Barton as the only thoroughbreds to forever hold the title of Triple Crown of Running Champions.

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