Justify’s value skyrockets to $60 million with Triple Crown win

Racing officials won’t investigate possible Triple Crown high jinks

Justify became just the 13th horse in history to win the Triple Crown on Saturday, but his win is not without some controversy.

Restoring Hope, also trained by Baffert, ran interference for the champion while traveling second and deterring any threats by forcing them to go extremely wide.

"Today, he looked fantastic", Baffert said. "Any Triple Crown victor is great for the sport".

Other trainers seemed to take less of an issue with the way Restoring Hope started the race, including D. Wayne Lukas, who trained Bravazo - the horse that gave Justify a late scare in the Preakness but only finished sixth at Belmont.

'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 racing magazine. But Smith turned it into an advantage, gunning Justify to the lead and defying any horse to challenge.

The trainer said he anxious again when Justify made a move forward in the final turn. "It was going to be my friend or the enemy", Baffert said when asked about what other horses he was concerned about as the race developed.

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Gary West, who owns Restoring Hope, also spoke out in fury about how his horse was handled in the race.

"I have no earthly idea what Florent was thinking or what his race strategy was", he said in an email response to a request for an interview. The mile-and-a-half track at Belmont, significantly longer than the first two races in the Triple Crown, is known as the test of champions and the hardest race in the series. Maybe the horse was completely out of control and Florent had no choice.

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who saddled American Pharoah to end a 37-year-old Triple Crown drought in 2015, thus became the second trainer along with "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons to train two Triple Crown winners, with Fitzsimmons having conditioned Gallant Fox (1930) and his son, Omaha (1935). They've been running rabbits in races for years, and Noble Indy was not a rabbit.

Doug Bredar, the agent for Geroux, said he has no comment and Geroux has no comment.

But the New York State Gaming Commission confirmed that there were no plans for its steward, Steve Lewandowski, to discuss it with Geroux.

"When he broke a step slow - he's kind of an aggressive horse to ride, he pulls very hard - I wanted to make sure I put him in the clear", Geroux said.

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