Admission gates will open Saturday at 5 p.m. Many horses have come close since the last Triple Crown victor, but none have been able capture the top prize. Then came the final furlong of the fastest Belmont since the advent of modern timing.
"I think he's got to run better than he did in the Preakness but we know going in he's got the most talent", NBC horse racing analyst Randy Moss said on Friday. "But I said, I don't know, three is a good number".
Three races at various distances on three different tracks over a span of five weeks. The 7-year-old bay horse won by 2 1/4 lengths and paid $9.10 to win - a generous price on a Baffert trainee.
The prime minister took time off his official and homely duties last weekend to fly to NY to witness the race in Long Island and was present every step of the way, as shown in numerous photos making the social media circuit. Others have moved too late and let the leaders get away.
The additional length at Belmont often tires out these horses, Zito said.
Justify defied the hard post position along the rail, breaking well and taking the lead within seconds.
The Kentucky Derby and Preakness victor has been guided to this point by a couple of veterans: trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Mike Smith.
Smith said Justify was so calm in the gate that he was anxious he might not break. "He's just an imposing horse".
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Triple Crown victor Justify is ready to start the next portion of his career, becoming the most valuable stud horse in the world.
While it's nice to see a Triple Crown victor, it's hardly profitable for bettors. Much like he did in the Kentucky Derby, Justify's opening 1/4-mile was a blistering:23.37, but by the time he was nearing the far turn, he had relaxed and nearly appeared to be jogging while yet to receive any pressure.
In fact his first race was on on February 18th of this year.
It worked to perfection as Smith put an exclamation point on his illustrious career, guiding Justify to victory in the 1½-mile race that was over with an eighth of a mile to go.
It's good to see two horses win the Triple Crown in a four-year span because coming close was the norm from 1979 to 2014. A crowd capped at 90,000 is expected for a chance to witness history. "Once he enters the building, it'll be like Elvis".
The Preakness and Kentucky Derby victor became thoroughbred racing's 13th Triple Crown with a front-running victory in the Belmont Stakes. Following the 2003 Belmont Stakes, there is no way I could have fathomed my transformation from a horse-crazy girl watching the Kentucky Derby on television to a horse-crazy woman working for The Jockey Club and hanging out with a Triple Crown victor.
Belmont Stakes hopeful Gronkowski pauses before working out at Belmont Park, Friday, June 8, 2018, in Elmont, N.Y. Gronkowski is one of 10 horses racing in the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race on Saturday.