Justify is a three year old thoroughbred racehourse of high acclaim. He recently retired and did so undefeated after an illustrious career of six runs, ending his career with a stunning American Triple Crown. This accolade has only been achieved 12 times previous, and is a title awarded for winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. Justify had his toughest task in the Preakness Stakes where he had to really dig in to edge out Bravazo by 1/2 length.
This Triple Crown feat was first achieved in 1913 by Sir Barton, and previous to Justify, it was a title gained by American Pharoah in 2015. Prior to that it hadn’t been awarded since 1978 (to Affirmed). Other winners are a who’s who of racing greats such as War Admiral, Citation and Secretariat.
Before his triple crown win, Justify also had convincing wins between
February and April of 2018, including a grade I win in the Santa
Anita Derby in April. Mike E. Smith was jockey onboard for all but one
of the six wins. Amassing earnings of almost $4 million, Justify was
purchased for $500,000 just two years ago at Keeneland’s September
yearling sale. It’s rumoured that breeding rights have been sold to
Coolmore for an incredible $60 million.
The chestnut colt is the son of Scat Daddy (2004) and Stage Magic
(2007). Scat Daddy himself is a descendand of Nijinsky which is a
very noteworthy connection and indication of good genes. With six very impressive wins spanning such a short period of time Justify has shown himself to be a class above during his brief racing career.
At three years old his retirement would appear unusual if not for an
ongoing ankle problem. “Justify had some filling in his ankle, and he
is just not responding quick enough for a fall campaign,” trainer Bob
Baffer stated this week. Jockey Mike Smith went on to call him “a gift
from God”. A Breeders’ Cup Classic farewell had been on the cards, but
sadly will not now happen.