Justify is now on the cusp of history following his half-length victory in Saturday's $1.5 million Preakness S. (G1) at a very foggy and rainy Pimlico racetrack.
After winning the Kentucky Derby (G1) over a sloppy racetrack two weeks ago, Justify faced even worse in conditions Saturday in Maryland. Coming out of the gate quickly, he and Good Magic were in their own private match race very soon after the start.
After six furlongs in 1:11.42, the duo was four lengths in front of the rest of the field. Disappearing into the fog in upper stretch, Justify didn't come into view until inside the final furlong, when Good Magic began to fade. Mike Smith never went to the whip on Justify, who bested the late-closing Bravazo by a half-length, with Tenfold a neck back in third.
“It was like we had our own private match race and someone had to give — I’m just glad it wasn’t us,” said Justify's trainer Bob Baffert, who added that the victory took more out of him than it probably did out of Justify. “I’m just glad that everyone got to see a great horse race.”
Now the Belmont S. (G1) and racing immortality awaits Justify in three week's time. The undefeated colt has now won all five of his starts for China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing and WinStar Farm. A victory in the Belmont would make Justify just the second undefeated Triple Crown winner, joining Seattle Slew, who accomplished the feat in 1977.