Belmont Stakes hopeful Bravazo works out on the main track at Belmont Park, Friday, June 8, 2018, in Elmont, N.Y. Bravazo is one of 10 horses racing in the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race on Saturday. He became the first thoroughbred to win the Kentucky Derby without racing as a two-year-old since 1882, aka the Chester Arthur administration.
"He ran a great race, especially considering he had a whole lot of things going against him", Brown said.
Justify wins Kentucky Derby 144 under Mike Smith in the pouring rain, 5/5/18. "What he's accomplished in such a short time is just really incredible, I just don't know what else to say".
"That whole Triple Crown thing".
In the hours before the race, Justify rested in Belmont's Barn 1, across the street from a Wendy's, undistracted by the beer-soaked fans who reveled close by - including one who almost relieved himself on a tree.
Justify came home 1¾ lengths ahead of Gronkowski, the former Jeremy Noseda-trained colt whose previous win was on the all-weather at Newcastle. "He's just brilliant", said Smith, who at 52 became the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown. He made a strong and sudden move along the inside while picking up horses rapidly on the second turn, got within easy striking distance of the leader nearing midstretch, but could not sustain the bid while racing a bit greenly and failing to change leads until deep stretch.
Mara, a member of Starlight Racing, raved about jockey Mike Smith.
Five weeks earlier, it was Good Magic who finished second behind Justify in the Kentucky Derby.
Justify won the Kentucky Derby by 2 1/2 lengths and the Preakness by a half-length on sloppy tracks, putting him in position to deliver a second Triple Crown in four years to the struggling sport. "This horse ran a tremendous race".
Justify has won all six of his races. The New Mexico native won 15 Grade 1 races in 2017, including nine with Bob Baffert, the trainer of Justify and now a two-time Triple Crown victor. "He's so gifted. He's sent from heaven. I actually thought, 'He's not going to break today.' I mean, he left there like he was going 440 yards in Ruidoso, New Mexico".
Chris Mara has won two Super Bowl championships with the New York Giants, and now he can add the Triple Crown to his resume. This will be the sixth race since February 18 for the three-year old, who took his entire second year off. I believe that given the circumstances, Justify's Triple Crown sweep is the greatest yet. Gronkowski brought back $13.80 to place and $7 to show, while Hofburg paid $3.70 to show.
The Belmont Stakes wasn't the only race, the undercard attracted top horses in all age groups and genders.