Justify's stablemate Restoring Hope accused of blocking at Belmont Stakes

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

Justify had a number of visitors to the barn Sunday, including Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who piloted the colt to victory Saturday, members of the China Horse Club and owner Ahmed Zayat, whose Zayat Stables campaigned American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) to become the 12th Triple Crown victor in 2015. None of the other nine horses had a chance to catch him.

Jimmy Barnes, the assistant trainer in Bob Baffert's racing opeation, was in the spotlight Monday at Churchill Downs, but purely for the company he was keeping.

May 19, 2018 - Justify, ridden by Mike Smith, wins the 143rd Preakness.

Baffert has trained more winners in Triple Crown races (15) than anyone - he also trained 2015 Triple Crown champion American Pharoah. "He is a Triple Crown victor and he's undefeated", Repole said to the New York Post.

"Justify was on his game that day, so I don't think - on that day - anyone was going to beat him".

Repole did say that his suspicions don't diminish his respect for the mighty Justify, just the 13th horse in history to win the Triple Crown.

Justify is the first undefeated horse to complete the Triple Crown since 1977.

'The plan was to sit off Justify, ' the trainer said.

A horse must win all three races to achieve the Triple Crown.

"It baffled me", Repole told the Daily Racing Form, according to ESPN.

In a freakish trend dating back to 1930, in years horse racing sees a Triple Crown - Notre Dame football enjoys a successful season.

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

Justify was purchased as a yearling for $500,000 and debuted less than four months ago on February 18, going on to win all five races he started.

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.

After running over sloppy tracks in the first two jewels of the Triple Crown - the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes - Justify had a fast strip at Belmont Park and got home in 2:28.18.

Repole said he thought stewards should take a look at the race.

Which is why there should be no surprise that the opening quarter-mile of the 150th Belmont Stakes last Saturday has become grist for post-race agita.

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