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Justify leads wire to wire at Belmont to win the Triple Crown

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ImageJustify ridden by Mike Smith began his Triple Crown bid by winning the Kentucky Derby on May

The offspring of two distance horses, Bravazo is well-suited to the Belmont Stakes' 1.5-mile distance. Would Justify fall victim to the fatigue and bad luck that had marked 13 failed Triple Crown bids between 1978 and 2015? He previously won in 2015 with American Pharoah, the colt that ended a 37-year drought. Seattle Slew was also undefeated when he won the Triple Crown in 1977. Restoring Hope will have a new jockey Saturday since Smith will be busy riding Justify.

The colt named for New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski brings a four-race winning streak into his USA debut.

Getting a strong break and leading from start to finish, Justify, who went off at 4-5, held off Gronkowski, Hofburg and Vino Rossi.

No chance. Between his imposing size and the way his chestnut coat glistens in the sun, Justify is hard to overlook, particularly with his muscular hind legs propelling him forward.

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It may seem like those last few Derby finishers are just going to be also-rans, but anything can happen in horse racing.

Kenny Troutt is the primary owner of the racehorse, Justify, which is vying to win the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes. If rain falls and turns it sloppy, Justify should feel right at home. His other accomplishments include two Kentucky Derby wins, two Preakness wins and three Belmont wins as well as more than two dozen victories in the Breeders' Cup. Majority he has already beaten, in either the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness, but there are a few new faces.

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Baffert had fretted after Justify drew the No. 1 post, a spot he detests for his horses.

The race was won by Bee Jersey, who just got a nose down in front of Mind Your Biscuits.

No Triple Crown victor has faced more than seven rivals in the Belmont, so Justify could be the first.

"I wanted to see that horse's name up there because we know he was brilliant from Day 1", Baffert said.

Justify accomplished a lot in a very short time.

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