Justify Returns to Track After Winning Preakness

justify hooray (Source: WAVE 3 News)
justify hooray (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Updated: May. 24, 2018 at 10:56 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE)   It's the first day back on the track after winning the Preakness for Justify, and it's business as usual.  A quick two laps on the dirt  and back to the barn for a bath.  While the routine is the same, the excitement is a little different.  "You guys saw him out there.  He looks fantastic.  No worse for the wear from the other race," said owner, Jack Wolf.  Justify's assistant trainer, Jimmy Barnes agrees, and says we still haven't seen the best of the Derby and Preakness champ.  "The horse does run the mud well, but you ought to see him on a dry track.   You guys haven't seen him on a dry track," said Barnes.

Of course, going for the Triple Crown is nothing new for Justify's trainer, Bob Baffert and his staff.  They just won the Triple Crown three years ago with American Pharoah, and one person who's been by Bafflert's side throughout this whole ride is his assistant trainer, Barnes.  "I'm his eyes and ears.  He's not able to be here with us, and you know, we've been together so long that he trust me," said Barnes.  Jimmy is back in the saddle just months after breaking his pelvis after a pony he was riding unseated him.  "It was tough during Breeders Cup, but I did get out there.  I helped out the best I could with being on crutches,"  commented Barnes.

At age 58, Barnes could remove the assistant tag from his title and be a trainer himself, but why would he do that?  "I know if I was on my own I probably wouldn't be at this level.  I've been at the other level.  I like it right here, Triple Crown, Breeders Cup," quipped Barnes.

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