Justify defies the odds to win Triple Crown

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He trained American Pharoah in 2015 when the horse won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes in Baltimore and Belmont Stakes in NY after a 37-year Triple Crown dry spell for thoroughbred horse racing.

Elliott Walden of WinStar Farm said Sunday the multi-owner group that controls Justify wants to share the horse with the public by racing him.

In sweeping the big three races for 3-year-olds, Smith becomes the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown.

Twenty-three times a horse has won the first two legs of the Triple Crown only to be denied horse racing's ultimate glory by failing to win the Belmont Stakes in NY. The colt named for New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski brings a four-race winning streak into his USA debut.

At 6-0, he joins Seattle Slew in 1977 as the only two undefeated Triple Crown winners; he's the first to sweep the series without racing at age 2 (because of a pulled muscle); and he's the only horse to beat nine rivals in the Belmont with a Triple try on the line. "When they opened the gate, [jockey] Mike Smith took him to the lead and it was history after that". Horses had come close to breaking it in recent years but it wasn't until Justify arrived that the superstition was put to rest. He wasn't a 2-year-old champion bred and built to win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont.

Yes, winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont within a five-week window is an incredible challenge.

Before the Belmont, which Justify won by 13/4 lengths over surprise second-place finisher Gronkowski, the massive chestnut colt with the white blaze had won the Kentucky Derby by 21/2 lengths.

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The 37-year-old Wallace was part of buying team that purchased Justify when China Horse Club was still relatively new to the North American yearling market. He defeated a deep crop, faced more horses in his three legs than any previous Triple Crown victor.

Baffert told NBC Sports: "It's just awesome. He even looked like he added a few pounds from the Preakness, I mean, this horse just recovers so amazingly quick".

"What an awesome experience, my heart was pounding and I had to sit down", said Gunther, who witnessed Justify's historic run at Belmont Park.

"Smith said that when he's mounted on his horse, he follows God just as he normally would".

There were a few bids made by other horses turning for home. Restoring Hope, who like Justify is trained by Baffert, last ran May 5 but not in the Derby.

Trainer Todd Pletcher also has two horses in the field - 8-1 Vino Rosso and 30-1 Noble Indy.

The Patriots, of course, were victim to the Giants in both Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI, where tight end Rob Gronkowski just narrowly missed hauling in a hail mary on the final play of the game. Last year, he won 15 Grade 1 races, the most since he won 20 back in 1994.

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