Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Wheels Up to Sponsor Justify in Belmont Stakes

Wheels Up to Sponsor Justify in Belmont Stakes

But what else is at stake? That's the case Saturday as the colt Justify looks to become the 13 Triple Crown victor.

"I think, like all of us, we need Justify to wake up on the wrong side of the bed to have a chance", said Todd Pletcher, the trainer of Vino Rosso and Noble Indy with three previous Belmont wins to his name. His biggest challenger, Audible, with whom he shares ownership, won't be running in the Belmont - why risk spoiling the party? - nor will Breeders' Cup Juvenile victor, Kentucky Derby runner-up and Preakness pacesetter Good Magic.

Well before unbeaten Triple Crown hopeful Justify (Scat Daddy)'s highly anticipated early afternoon arrival from Kentucky-more on that in a bit-there were plenty of GI Belmont Stakes runners out stretching their legs for routine gallops during early training hours on a handsome Wednesday morning on Long Island.

Pletcher will likely bemoan his fortune on Tuesday, when Vino Rosso and Noble Indy were drawn wider at eight and nine, respectively, hurting their chances of getting inside early to cut down a likely Justify lead. So put your money on him, right? According to it, Justify had the worst race of his career at the Preakness. Three of Justify's six career races - all wins - were on muddy or sloppy tracks, although his speed figures have dropped after having to lumber through the slop of the Derby and the Preakness over the past 4½ weeks.

And history may be on Justify's side. Justify and Bravazo will be the only horses to campaign the entire Triple Crown trail this year.

Noble Indy (Take Charge Indy-Noble Maz) - WinStar Farm bred Noble Indy, victor of the Louisiana Derby (G2), and races him with Repole Stable.

Justify won the first two legs of the series from the No. 7 post.

I am excited to think that Justify may be the next Triple Crown victor.

Though his stablemate Audible, who was widely considered the top candidate to spoil a Triple Crown, has been withdrawn the race, Justify will still have to contend with Bravazo, the runner-up at Preakness and the current Sham to Justify's Secretariat. The horse reached a top speed of 49 miles per hour.

Smith feels a comfort level at the track that has spelled heartbreak for so many other Triple Crown attempts over the years. The colt was pinned to the rail and had nowhere to go until a late run helped him finish sixth.

What are Jody Demling's Belmont Stakes picks?

In recent years, he was the regular rider for superstar mare Zenyata, Royal Delta, Songbird, Shared Belief and Game On Dude, among others.

Showers are expected in Elmont New York, where the race for three-year-olds will be run on Saturday (Sunday AEST). Every race Bob won, it was like he won it.

Much like the Preakness Stakes and the Kentucky Derby, SMT's suite of products will engage viewers from gate to finish with real-time, data-driven graphics, up-to-the-second odds, and commentator analysis.

The Britain-based colt is a newcomer to the Triple Crown trail.

Since Slew, only Smarty Jones (2004) and Big Brown (2008) had a chance to win the Triple Crown while flawless. That same year, an estimated 22 million viewers watched as he became the first Triple Crown victor in 37 years. His sire, Union Rags, won the 2012 Belmont.

General admission for the Belmont Stakes is available for $30.

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