WinStar Farm still weighing options on Justify breeding rights

WinStar Farm still weighing options on Justify breeding rights
Fans can see Justify in person at WinStar Farm as soon as mid-August. (Source: WAVE 3 News Archive)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Justify is leaving the racetracks behind, as his retirement was announced Wednesday. So what's next for the Triple Crown champion?

The undefeated colt will parade at Del Mar racetrack outside San Diego, California Saturday and return to WinStar Farm in Versailles on Wednesday.

Fans can see him in person at WinStar Farm as soon as mid-August. For more information on how to book a tour go to visithorsecountry.com.

WAVE 3 News Anchor Shannon Cogan met with the President of WinStar, Elliott Walden, to learn what the next few months will look like for Justify.

Imagine being born to run, like Justify. Yet, you're forced to stay in bed, because of a bad ankle. That's what life has been like for the horse, caged up for three weeks.

Once at WinStar, he won't be just let loose to run.

"You can't just take him, when they've been on the racetrack like Justify has, and turn him out big three acre field," Walden said. "You've got to take it in increments."

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WinStar Farm owns the majority of Justify's breeding and racing rights. Walden spoke with us before flying to see the horse in person at Del Mar.

He said they are going to set up a smaller area for Justify to test out first.

"To get him out, get him out of this stall, have some fun, let him enjoy himself in this beautiful sunny Kentucky weather," Walden said.

It's called the "letting down process" and will take about a week.

Justify has earned $3.8 million on the track. He could earn a whole lot more in the breeding shed. A deal with Coolmore for breeding rights has been reported.

"We don't know yet but not final," Walden said. "But in the works, something I can't comment on now."

Another Triple Crown champ, American Pharoah, is also at Coolmore. He captured the Grand Slam, winning the Breeders' Cup as well.

Walden said while they wanted to see him race again, they couldn't take the chance.

"The horse's health comes first in every situation," Walden explained. "Justify has been too good to all of us to risk that in any way and that wasn't going to happen."

Justify is expected to start work in the breeding shed in February.

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