Well look at that, it's a surprise edition of Triple Crown™ Tuesday!
Winning the Triple Crown™ is the grandest honor that any horse racing team could hope to accomplish. Jockey, Trainer, Owner and everyone in between sets out at the Kentucky Derby® for their first win, enter the Preakness Stakes with high hopes of a follow-up, and then aim to complete the immaculate treble at the Belmont Stakes. Winning the Triple Crown™ truly is a test of attrition!
Now, when we at Derby Experiences started this season we never could have expected to add another chapter so quickly, but here we are! With Justify's recent conquest at the Belmont Stakes, we now have 13 Triple Crown™ winners, transforming this into a 13-part series! Starting with Sir Barton in 1919 and stretching all the way to this calendar year, saddle-up, because we're off to the races. This week’s Triple Crown™ winner is very fresh on the brain, and has hopes to add even more to its trophy collection this year.
The name of Bob Baffert carries a lot of significance in the horse racing community. The legendary trainer already had one Triple Crown™ victory with 2015 winner American Pharaoh, but wouldn't let that stop him from maximizing the potential of a horse that he knew was special: Justify.
The three-year old colt was the favorite heading into the 2018 Race for the Roses, but still had to battle through pouring rain and sloppy mud en route to success at Churchill Downs®. For Justify to stand a chance in the trot, he needed to get out of the 7th spot out of the gate clean to corral any momentum. Luckily, the race horse did just that and completed the 1 and1/4 mile trot at a time of 2:04:20.
The victory earned Baffert his fifth Kentucky Derby® championship, adding to an already jaw-dropping resume.
The 2018 Preakness Stakes took a similar tone as the Kentucky Derby®, with rain falling and the conditions of the track not optimized. Once again emerging from the 7th spot, Justify burst out of the gate on the way to a compelling finish. On his tail the entire race was Good Magic, the runner-up at the Derby. Justify broke free, through, and secured the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
The victory at the Preakness made Justify the 24th horse to win both the Kentucky Derby® and Preakness Stakes.
Then it all came down to the Belmont Stakes. In most situations, a horse and jockey would feel the pressure of a potential Triple Crown™ weighing them down, but that wasn't the case for Justify. The steed took to the 1.5 mile race easily, and keep a lengthy distance between himself and runner-up Gronkowski through the duration of the scamper.
And when Justify finally crossed the finish line at Belmont Park, a roar to to the crowd and track that had only been experienced 12 times ever before. The mission, and the dream, had been accomplished.
Be There for the First Leg of the Triple Crown™
Want to see the beginning of a Triple Crown campaign? Derby Experiences is the ONLY Official Partner of Churchill Downs® and guarantees that your Kentucky Derby® tickets are packaged with exclusive extras that you cannot obtain from anywhere else.