Justify wins Belmont to become 13th Triple Crown champ

Belmont Stakes 2018: The 6 horses that are the best bets to upset Justify

Belmont Stakes 2018: The 6 horses that are the best bets to upset Justify

After going 37 years without a triple crown, the horse racing world now has 2 in the last 4 years.

Jockey Mike Smith celebrates aboard Justify after winning the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, U.S., June 9, 2018.

The Belmont Stakes has already seen a Triple Crown victor within this decade, as American Pharoah sealed the deal in 2015. Seattle Slew was unbeaten when he won the Triple Crown in 1977. Victory Gallop lived up to his name, catching up to Real Quiet to take the race at the wire in one of the closest photo finishes ever.

Rovell writes that Coolmore can put a higher value on Justify than other stud farms because it has the capacity to stand the superstar at both its Ashford Stud in Kentucky and in Australia during the Southern Hemisphere breeding season.

After the horse won its first two races, he knew Justify was an unbelievable raw talent, capable of history.

Smith said Justify was so calm in the gate that he was anxious he might not break. "He's so gifted", Smith said in a TV interview directly after the race.

Justify has become the 13th horse to do so.

He ran the longest race of the series in 2:28.18 and paid $3.60, $3.50 and $2.80. "He's sent from heaven". "Over the years, people have told me it was one of their most memorable races as well".

Baffert had fretted after Justify drew the No. 1 post, a spot he detests for his horses.

Justify defied the hard post position along the rail, breaking well and taking the lead within seconds.

Restoring Hope, also trained by Baffert, ran interference for the champion while traveling second and deterring any threats by forcing them to go extremely wide. Smith slowed the pace midway around the 1 1/2-mile track but maintained a two-length lead heading into the backstretch.

"You can't doubt him now, there's no way", said Bill Mott, trainer of third-place Hofburg.

There were mild bids turning for home. Justify pulled away down the 1,097-yard stretch in front of a grandstand packed with screaming fans with only 24-1 shot Gronkowski picking up the chase down the lane. "I thought maybe he's not going to break today".

Gronkowski, named for and partly owned by New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, returned $13.80 and $7 in his US debut after arriving from England.

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