Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 19 October 2019

Baffert ace to justify 'triple' hype in Belmont

Justify trains on the main track in preparation for the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park. Photo: Dennis Schneidler/USA Today
Justify trains on the main track in preparation for the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park. Photo: Dennis Schneidler/USA Today

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Bob Baffert believes hot favourite Justify is in the form of his life ahead of his Triple Crown bid in tonight's Belmont Stakes (11.46).

Having taken last month's Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, Justify will become Baffert's second Triple crown winner in three years - after American Pharoah's success in 2015 - if he can negotiate a nine-strong opposition led by Hofburg.

Veteran jockey Mike Smith, 52, will be in the plate for their date with destiny and with Justify only making his racecourse debut in February, he can scarcely believe his luck.

"I'm pretty happy to get the opportunity towards the end of my career. Something like this will make going into the next stage of my life a whole lot easier to ride off into the sunset," Smith said.

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