Justify became the 13th Triple Crown victor in history this past Saturday and now some are saying collusion was to thank for it. He captured the first in 2:28.18. "He is a Triple Crown victor and he's undefeated", said Repole, emphasizing his admiration for the powerful, 6-for-6 colt. "He could have won every race on the undercard today".
"This horse ran a tremendous race", Smith beamed. "He's so gifted. He's sent from heaven".
Baffert has trained more winners in Triple Crown races (15) than anyone - he also trained 2015 Triple Crown champion American Pharoah. "Who would've thought we'd see another Triple Crown?"
At 52, Smith became the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown.
According to drf.com, Justify could follow in the footsteps of American Pharoah and be paraded in the paddock on Saturday's Stephen Foster card beneath the Twin Spires. He's just an unbelievable horse. Restoring Hope spent much of the 1.5-mile race in second place at Justify's side.
'Who knows if he would have won the race anyway?
"It definitely seemed to me he was more of an offensive lineman than a racehorse trying to win the Belmont, and Justify was a running back trying to run for a touchdown", said Mike Repole, co-owner of Noble Indy and fourth-place Vino Ross. After winning the Grade 2 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, Vino Rosso ran ninth on a sloppy track in the Kentucky Derby. Seattle Slew was unbeaten when he won the Triple Crown in 1977.
Triple Crown victor Justify returned to Churchill Downs for a little rest Monday, arriving just before a thunderstorm and greeted by camera-clicking fans intent on getting a shot of horse racing's newest superstar.
Justify came back home in Kentucky on Monday. He said the horse traveled well and will be "just taking it easy" for a few days before this weekend's celebration and his return to California. "When he broke a step slow - he's kind of an aggressive horse to ride, he pulls very hard - I wanted to make sure I put him in the clear", Geroux said.
Steve Lewandowski, the New York Gaming Commission steward, said Sunday that there is no plan to talk to Geroux. The on-track handle was $16,159,584, with 90,327 people in attendance.
Jockey Florent Geroux (center in pink silks) is seen leaving the gate at the Belmont Stakes, with victor Justify on the far left.