Justify took the 150th Belmont Stakes, 45 years to the day after Secretariat made his record-breaking romp to capture the Triple Crown in record-breaking time, and in doing so became the 13th Triple Crown winner in horse racing history.
Justify’s win wasn’t as impressive as Secretariat’s – who has? – but he led from wire to wire, setting his own pace, and was never truly challenged. Gronkowski came from dead last to finish an impressive second, much to the delight of his namesake, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. Hofburg, whom many picked to upset Justify, finished third.
What is truly remarkable about his feat was that he was unraced as a 2-year-old, and it’s only been 111 days since his first race. Since then, he is 6 for 6, becoming only the second undefeated Triple Crown winner (Seattle Slew was the other one), and he seems to be getting stronger with every race.
This horse is a monster. Unfortunately, we probably won’t see him race as a 4-year-old because he’s already worth about $70 million, and his owners won’t do anything to jeopardize his stud career. We can hope that he’ll race another 3-4 times, including the Breeders’ Cup and the Pegasus World Cup so he can truly rank among the great horses.