Justify arrives in N.Y. for Triple Crown bid

Jockey Martin Garcia works Triple Crown hopeful Justify at Churchill Downs in Louisville Ky. Tuesday

Justify is scheduled to arrive at Belmont Park on Wednesday afternoon after traveling on a special transport plane from Louisville International Airport to Long Island's MacArthur Airport in the morning.

After a two-and-a-half-length victory in the slop in the Kentucky Derby and a half-length triumph in similarly soggy conditions in the Preakness Stakes, the unbeaten Justify will try to claim the final jewel of the Triple Crown on Saturday in the mile-and-a-half Belmont Stakes.

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.

The 5-for-5 Justify will try to become thoroughbred racing's 13th Triple Crown victor.

Free Drop Billy, 16th in the May 5 Kentucky Derby last time out, will break from post-position 2 in a field of 10 as a 30-1 outsider in the program.

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"I never like drawing the rail in one of these races, but we have it and we can't change it", Baffert said. "After the Derby we didn't know what we were going to do with him, but he's just trained so well and he's had some good breezes since the Derby".

But no horse has a better track record at defying the odds than the favorite, Justify.

Aside from all the usual speculation that comes in the aftermath of a post-position draw, Justify is worthy of his praise, as he's excelled in muddy wins at the Kentucky and the Preakness.

For the fourth time in his career, trainer Dale Romans brings a horse to Belmont Park with designs on spoiling a Triple Crown bid. His 98 Brisnet speed figure in the Preakness is complimented by his 107 pace figure, which, when added together (205), nearly equals that of his Kentucky Derby performance (204).

Baffert has another horse in the race: Restoring Hope, the third-place finisher in the Wood Memorial. Keen Ice would go on to become the only horse to beat American Pharoah during his 3-year-old season in the Grade 1 Travers at Saratoga Race Course.

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