"To win six races in a short amount of time like he did is just an unbelievable feat on his part", Smith said.
Hall of Fame jockey Smith - the oldest rider to win the Triple Crown - said: "This horse is so gifted". I wanted to see that horse's name up there, because we knew he was brilliant from day one. There were mild bids turning for home.
Justify, jockeyed by Mike Smith, became a sensation because of his impressive size, his calm and dominating presence, and his ability to overcome inexperience. It's possible Justify could be paraded at the track like American Pharoah after he won the Triple Crown for Baffert in 2015. Baffert said he felt confident, not stressed, during the run-up to the race. "After a week it starts catching up with them". He says he's ridden plenty of awesome horses but that there is just something special about Justify.
Among the possibilities: the $1 million Haskell Invitational on July 29 at Monmouth Park in Nw Jersey; the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar outside San Diego on August 18; and the $1.25 million Travers at Saratoga in NY on August 25. First for Smith. Second in four years after American Pharoah in 2015.
"From his first start, you could see that he was a very, very impressive colt", John Gunther of Langley, B.C., who bred Justify at his Kentucky farm, told CTV Vancouver before the race. "I think he's the greatest of all time". "He's really good at what he does and he's a good guy too". It shows a horse eating the flowers off a women's hat and the jockey reimbursing her in the winner's circle with Quick Pay.
"Yeah, I belong now", said Smith, who ripped carnations from the garland of flowers draped on Justify after the race and tossed them in the air to celebrate. "We were just in there, watching the replay over and over, and it looked like he could have gone around again".
"Smith said that when he's mounted on his horse, he follows God just as he normally would". "We got him in November, after the Breeders' Cup, and took our time with him, no rush".
"There was no pace and nobody put any pressure on the horse and he kind of walked the dog going around there". The son of Scat Daddy didn't make his racing debut until February 18, didn't make his stakes debut until winning the Santa Anita Derby on April 7. "This horse overcame a lot". Not all horses take well to running in mud, especially sloppy mud. "He's my champion." Justify joined Seattle Slew as the only two undefeated Triple Crown winners, culminating a dazzling ascent. That was good enough to make him the favorite at Churchill Downs, where he won by 2 1/2 lengths. A true closer, Blended Citizen does his best running in turf and synthetic races but is still an intriguing challenger to Justify thanks to his consistent speed figures and stamina pedigree. "He was showing me the brilliance, superior horse. People love history being made in sports".
Two weeks later in the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, Justify emerged from a fog bank with the lead at the top of the stretch but just did manage to hold on to the advantage, winning by 1/2 length over Bravazo, who faded in the late going in the Belmont and did finished sixth.