After his whirlwind of races – six in four months, including the Triple Crown – Justify has had a well-deserved month off. But the question everyone is asking is, what next?
The Haskell Invitational is one possibility, but it’s coming up soon – July 29 – and Justify hasn’t been training seriously enough to get ready for that. A more likely possibility is the Travers Stakes on August 25. That’s the route that American Pharoah took after his Triple Crown victories.
What would make the Travers an interesting race is the reputation Saratoga has of being the “Graveyard of Champions.” Man o’ War lost his only race there, Secretariat was beaten by Onion in the Whitney Stakes, and American Pharoah lost the Travers in 2015. Justify has already beaten the Apollo Curse; it would be interesting to see if he could beat this curse as well.
Of course, after one of those two races, it’s on to the Breeders’ Cup Classic, with maybe a stop at the Pennsylvania Derby on September 22.
Justify’s owners would be pushing it to enter him in the 2019 Pegasus World Cup on January 26, even though the purse is hefty. They want to see him retire as soon as possible, healthy and ready to breed.