Justify has won the Belmont Stakes to claim the 13th Triple Crown in the history of horse racing.
Baffert, who had three near-misses with Silver Charm, Real Quiet and War Emblem before American Pharoah broke the 37-year Triple Crown drought in 2015, said Justify is built to power through the fatigue caused by running on the slop twice against high-caliber competition.
According to Sports Illustrated, Baffert and Smith had partnered in 2002 on the horse Vindication.
"He's made a lot of my goals come true but today, he made my dream come true". In short, it has all the makings of a great horse movie.
Smith, 52, became the oldest jockey to win a Triple Crown. "I certainly could have got after him a whole lot more a lot earlier and made him do a little more, as well". "I think all of NY should give him a cheer".
The purse for the race is $1.5 million.
No Triple Crown victor has faced more than seven rivals in the Belmont, so Justify could be the first. Often it's the final quarter-mile that does in a contender.
After three-quarters in 1:13.21, Justify began to inch away from the field.
John Velazquez was already asking Vino Rosso for more run nearing the quarter pole, while Smith had yet to even loosen his reins on Justify.
Gronkowski finished second in the 1 1/2 mile race.
The effort was enough to inspire optimism, however.
Among those expected to be on hand is New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. "This horse ran a tremendous race, he's so gifted", said Smith, on the NBC broadcast, (h/t ESPN.com). "When i asked him, he dug in".
Bob Baffert watches the Brooklyn Invitational, a race his horse Hoppertunity won at Belmont Park on Saturday. Justify reported home two lengths in front of that rival, with Hofburg (Tapit) rounding out the trifecta. Tanya Gunther was responsible for choosing the chestnut colt's parents.
Yet on Saturday, with fans wearing yellow foam crowns instead of Egyptian headdresses, Justify passed the Test of the Champion to earn a crown of his own. The Kentucky Derby prize money now totals roughly $2 million, with $1.24 million for the victor.
The latest Triple Crown victor in the horse racing world has a connection to central Pennsylvania, according to a report from Central Penn Business Journal.
Justify keeps showing something new each time he races.
Baffert started the day a victor in his first two races. Baffert oversaw American Pharoah's Triple Crown success in 2015 and has used the same methods with Justify.
"This never gets old", an emotional Baffert said after the race. I think it's changed.