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Justify, who will try to become the 13th Triple Crown victor, remains the favorite at 4/5 odds for the 1 1/2-mile race. He's the first Triple Crown victor to face that many rivals in the mile and a half Belmont Stakes. He has saddled five Kentucky Derby, seven Preakness Stakes and three Belmont Stakes winners. Justify becomes the thirteenth Triple Crown victor and the first since American Pharoah in 2015. He won with American Pharoah in 2015, ending a 37-year drought.

On Saturday, Justify did that, too, before a rapturous crowd of roughly 100,000, leading wire-to-wire to cover the 1½ -mile distance in 2:28.18 with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith aboard.

Going beyond Justify and his Triple Crown win, NFL Twitter was all over the race's second-place finisher.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

First, he won the Kentucky Derby without having raced as a 2-year-old.

Justify began his racing career on February 18, a scant 77 days before the Kentucky Derby.

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The full order of finish is as follows: Justify, Gronkowski, Hofburg, Vino Rosso, Tenfold, Bravazo, Free Drop Billy, Restoring Hope, Blended Citizen, Noble Indy. A lot of them he has already beaten, in either the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness, but there are a few new faces. He inspired favorable comparisons to American Pharoah. He's never lost a race in his life, and watching him run just once makes it apparent why.

Justify is taking on nine rivals, the largest number that a potential Triple Crown victor has ever faced. Secretariat, Seattle Slew and Affirmed added their names to the list in the 1970s.

Of course, the Haskell was also close to home for Zayat Stables, which campaigned Pharoah, and Baffert has mentioned the race already as a target for his other top 3-year-old, McKinzie.

I'm not sure if I'll be betting on Justify to win yet, but I know I'll be rooting for him.


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