Bob Baffert horse Restoring Hope accused of blocking for Justify

Justify and jockey Mike Smith led the pack at the Saturday Belmont Stakes race in New York

Justify and jockey Mike Smith led the pack at the Saturday Belmont Stakes race in New York

"(Bob) will get Justify right, and then we'll make a plan", WinStar Farm president Elliott Walden said following the Belmont win. Billy Turner, his trainer, had to negotiate the colt's transition from shiny young object to a horse of classic depth and poise, and they never missed a note. The Triple Crowns of Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and Affirmed, coming as they did after a quarter of a century without, cast the sport in a bright white light that demanded attention.

A losing owner at the Belmont Stakes is accusing Justify's stablemate of engaging in horseplay.

"Bob just wanted me to get good position, he wanted the horse to be forwardly placed, second or third, you don't see too many closers from Baffert", Geroux told the Daily Racing Form. "There is no one more deserving than him".

At some point in the relatively recent past, it was decided that horses can no longer do what Justify has done, and therefore, what Justify has done is incredible. Justify pulled away down the 1,097-yard stretch in front of a grandstand packed with screaming fans with only 24-1 shot Gronkowski picking up the chase down the lane.

"The day the horse leaves the racecourse is the end of his career and his future is entirely determined by the success of his progeny", says Sam Bullard, director of stallions at Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket, part of Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin racing outfit.

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"Today he looked fantastic", Baffert said Sunday morning. "He's become a household name, and I'm looking forward to his next race as much as (everyone else)". He's only won once, in a maiden race (meaning none of the horses had ever won). Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons is the only other trainer with two Triple Crowns, winning with Gallant Fox in 1930 and Omaha in 1935.

Belmont second-place finisher Gronkowski, owned by Phoenix Thoroughbred III, made his North American debut in the race for owner Phoenix Thoroughbred III.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Triple Crown victor Justify has returned to Churchill Downs to rest as the track where the quest began prepares to celebrate the milestone.

Mike Repole, the Queens native and co-owner of fourth-place Vino Rosso and last-place Noble Indy, was hoping stewards would question the "reckless riding" of Restoring Hope jockey Florent Geroux after he raced out of the gates to run behind and just outside of Justify.

As for any claims of cheating to the New York Gaming Commission? "And I am so happy for Mike Smith".

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