Justify completes Triple Crown dream at Belmont Park

Ahmed Zayat hoists the Belmont Stakes trophy after American Pharoah's 2015 Triple Crown win

All of them are long races for a horse, from just under 1 1/4 miles to 1 1/2 miles.

Justify defied all the odds on his way to achieving Triple Crown immortality. If he pulls it off, he'll become the 13th thoroughbred in history to do so and only the second since 1978 when American Pharoah took the title in 2015.

"This horse ran a tremendous race", Smith said. The two horses share the same trainer in Bob Baffert.

Gronkowski, named for and partly owned by New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, challenged on the home stretch and finished a strong second. None of the other nine horses had a chance to catch him.

"It was the most impressive debut from a racehorse I have ever seen", Moss recalled.

Justify has won the Belmont Stakes to claim the 13th Triple Crown in the history of horse racing.

Justify, who did not race as a two-year-old, is now undefeated in six starts.

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The track won't be sloppy in Elmont, New York, with mostly sunny conditions expected at race time.

For Justify, being one of the finest athletes of our time will have to do. Baffert had joked earlier in the week that, with luck, the jockeys who had their sights set on beating Justify might get confused by the change.

Justify's victory gives racing its second Triple Crown victor of the decade.

At 52, Mike Smith is the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown.

From his tender heel the day after he won the Kentucky Derby to his exhausted performance in the Preakness to his starting position on the dreaded rail in the Belmont Stakes, he'd encountered obstacles that have defeated many an excellent horse.

" target="_blank">Tamarkuz won the Group 2 Godolphin Mile in Dubai, and Materiality won the Grade 1 Florida Derby".

Along with Pharoah, Justify now joins the following horses as Triple Crown winners - Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977) and Affirmed (1978).

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