Justify back at Churchill Downs after winning Triple Crown

Justify made history in Saturday's 150th running of the Belmont Stakes becoming the 13th Triple Crown winner and only the second-ever to do so in undefeated fashion

'Who knows if he would have won the race anyway?

Collmus' thrilling call of the 150 Belmont Stakes on NBC, watched by 15.3 million television viewers in the 6:45-7 p.m. ET quarter hour, was also heard throughout Belmont Park and cheered by the 90,000-plus in attendance, as Justify became only the second horse in history to remain unbeaten in running to a Triple Crown (Seattle Slew, 1977).

But then, when you put it all together, it plays poorly, even though only the imagination can account for what the early pace scenario would have looked like without the wanderings of Restoring Hope. But Smith turned it into an advantage, gunning Justify to the lead and defying any horse to challenge. "His only chance was to be up near the lead in the first wave because he's like a one-dimensional horse". He'll walk for at least the next two to three days, as long as he'll allow us to. He stood so quietly in the starting gate that jockey Mike Smith wondered if he'd respond when it sprang open. We're looking forward to sharing him more.

"Pharoah made so many people feel good", Baffert said. When he wanted Justify to run fast he would squeeze him, and when he wanted Justify to relax and fall into a rhythm, the jockey would move his hands down. But the horses slowed down the back stretch and Baffert liked what he saw on the timer at the half-mile pole. I tell you, it's just wonderful. "It was going to be my friend or the enemy", Baffert said when asked about what other horses he was concerned about as the race developed. The track said details for honoring Justify were still being worked out.

"I was like, 'Oh, Mike".

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"He has natural speed", Baffert said.

But Justify, like all the great thoroughbreds, found "another gear", Baffert said.

In providing a second Triple Crown in a span of three years, however, Justify has done his part to make the achievement mainstream once again. He refused comparisons between the two horses, saying they are different types of racers. After not racing as a two-year-old, he now has an undefeated record and is a Triple Crown champion - his jump from grand potential to richest horse in racing happened all within the past six months.

Barnes, a Santa Rosa native and 1977 graduate of Montgomery High School, had the pleasure of walking Triple Crown victor Justify around the grounds while camera-clicking fans followed their every step, intent on getting a shot or horse racing's newest superstar. Justify becomes the 13th horse to achieve the Triple Crown.

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