Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Sports | By Ivan Ross

Canterbury Park preps for Belmont Stakes excitement

Canterbury Park preps for Belmont Stakes excitement

Baffert nicknamed his crew Camp Justify, and the bucolic corner barn setting fit the bill.

Justify's quick ascent to North American prominence will undoubtedly put pressure on Glennwood to produce another Triple Crown contender.

The big chestnut colt with the appetite to match burst onto the national scene with a 2?-length victory on a sloppy track in the Derby.

Seven of these horses (including Justify) Ran in the Kentucky Derby, but none proved much of a challenge to him there.

Some clues might come from how trainer Bob Baffert handled American Pharoah, who got a bit of a break after winning the Triple Crown in 2015 and returned to the track on August 2 to win the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.

Kentucky Derby and Preakness victor Justify will be taking to the sprawling oval to try to become racing's 13th Triple Crown victor and second in four years with a victory in the 1 1/2-mile race.

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Justify is taking on nine rivals, the largest number that a potential Triple Crown victor has ever faced. Assuming the track is fast for the Belmont, what will change? Birdstone, a 36-1 shot, reeled in Smarty Jones, who lost by a length.

While the deal might seem rich, sources said Coolmore would make it up by breeding in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, making the horse capable of breeding at least 250 times in his first year. "I will never know". Horses and riders aren't used to 11/2-mile races in the US, where the focus is on sprinting. Simply, Justify redefined what it means to be a great racehorse.

Just 12 horses have swept the Triple Crown, one of the rarest feats in sports. A plan will be formulated once the chestnut colt recovers from a compressed schedule that saw him win six races over 111 days since his debut February 18.

"Smith said that when he's mounted on his horse, he follows God just as he normally would. He was able to go ahead and get a comfortable lead and let him get in that rhythm of his".

"I think he's the greatest of all time", jockey Mike Smith, 52, said about Justify.

Chris Mara has won two Super Bowl championships with the Giants and now he is a Triple Crown champion, too.

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"It never gets old", Baffert said. He did it with American Pharoah in 2015. Can he become the second Triple Crown victor in 3 years, after the previous wait was 37? A crowd capped at 90,000 is expected for a chance to witness history.

(Justify) was showing me the same signs (as American Pharoah), he showed me that same brilliance. "Once he enters the building, it'll be like Elvis".

Justify led all the way in New York's Belmont Stakes winning by 1 3/4 lengths to gain immortality as horse racings 13th Triple Crown victor.

Can he become the first ever horse to win the Triple Crown without racing as a 2-year-old?

Mike Smith, the jockey riding Justify in Saturday night's Belmont Stakes, could have said anything in his first television interview.

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