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Belmont Stakes Draw: Justify Is Favorite in Bid for Triple Crown

07 June, 2018, 07:28 | Author: Rachael Silva
  • The Triple Crown trophy has a new look for Justify's attempt

Something Bob Baffert always dreads has come true ahead of the Belmont Stakes: Justify drew the No. 1 post for the colt's bid to sweep the Triple Crown.

On June 6, the team behind Triple Crown contender Justify (Elliott Walden, President and Chief Executive of WinStar Farm, co-owners with China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, and Starlight Racing) announced Wheels Up, the revolutionary member-based private aviation company, as an exclusive sponsor.

After dominant performances at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, Justify is the odds-on favorite to beat the field one more time at the Belmont Stakes and become the 13th horse in history to complete the Triple Crown.

The D Wayne Lukas-trained Bravazo, who finished a half-length behind Justify at the Preakness, will break from the third post while John Velazquez, a two-times Belmont Stakes victor, will be aboard Vino Rosso in the eighth post. Justify and Bravazo will be the only horses to campaign the entire Triple Crown trail this year. "We have it. We can't change it. He still has to get on the plane tomorrow in Kentucky and we still have a few days left, but since the Preakness everything has been going smoothly".

The 10-horse field was revealed at the draw for post positions. That certainly suits Justify - he has never been worse than second at any call in his five-race career nor has he been behind more than 2 1/2 lengths at any point in any race. Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, the colt finished seventh in the Kentucky Derby and skipped the Preakness.


Baffert has another horse in the race: Restoring Hope, the third-place finisher in the Wood Memorial.

However, it also should be noted that the first post has produced more champions (23) than any other post at Belmont Park. But the most recent Belmont victor who started on the rail was Empire Maker in 2003.

"One of these horses or two maybe has to run a little bit better than you would expect them to, mine included (to win)", Lukas said.

Post time for the 150 Belmont Stakes is scheduled for 5:37 p.m. CDT Saturday.

Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group.

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