Justify emerged from the fog and sloshed his way to another victory, holding off several hard-charging challengers to win the Preakness on Saturday and keep alive the chance for trainer Bob Baffert’s second Triple Crown champion in four years.


Justify,  who won horse racing’s most prestigious race at the Kentucky Derby earlier this month, captured the second jewel in racing’s Triple Crown with a victory at the Preakness Stakes on Saturday. The horse, battling a soggy track at Pimlico won the 143rd Preakness Stakes as the heavy odds-on favorite. A win at the Belmont Stakes on June 9 would make Justify only the second Triple Crown winner since 1978. Justify has won every race in which he has been entered.

Justify rounded the final turn and hit the top of the stretch winded but with the lead. The roar from the crowd was delayed, hushed by the thick fog that enveloped the track. When Justify emerged from the haze in view of the grandstand, trainer Bob Baffert could see jockey Mike Smith's white silks and realized his horse had been pushed to his limit with 100 yards left to go. "I knew he was in for a fight,'' Baffert said. "I knew this was not going to be easy.'' It wasn't easy, but Justify had enough left to hold off several hard-charging challengers and win the 143rd Preakness Stakes on a sloppy, slippery track Saturday to keep alive the chance for a second Triple Crown champion in four years. After winning the most difficult race of his career, Justify has the chance at the Belmont Stakes in New York on June 9 to accomplish the same rare feat Baffert's American Pharoah did in 2015.

"We'll see how he trains,'' Baffert said. "Right now, I don't see why not.''

Just getting through the Preakness was a test for the Kentucky Derby champion and heavy 2-5 favorite. When Smith looked over his shoulder early and saw Good Magic, he thought, "Oh man, it's going to be a match race from this point on.'' And Justify held up to the challenge down the backstretch -- and late, as Bravazo and Tenfold chased him down. "They tested his fitness today,'' Smith said after his second Preakness win and first since 1993. "This is his hardest race that he's had.''


The Belmont Stakes


HORSE                       0PEN                   CURRENT


Justify                       1/1                           4/5

Hofburg                 7/1                        4/1

Bravazo                 9/1                        7/1

Vino Rosso             20/1                           8/1

Tenfold                    11/1                         10/1

Blended Citizen        12/1                           14/1

Gronkowski               69/1                           25/1

Noble Indy               33/1                         33/1

Free Drop Billy        50/1                         50/1








Thoroughbred Racing Online

TrackMasters Of Thoroughbred Racing