A two-year-old colt named Justify crossed the finish line first at Belmont Park to win the Triple Crown. He is only the second horse to go undefeated en route to horse racing's greatest prize.
Justify raced to victory at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday to become the 13th Triple Crown champion. American Pharoah ended a 37-year drought of Triple Crown winners in 2015. Now just three years later, racing is celebrating another sweep of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont.
The big chestnut colt burst onto the national scene with a victory in the Kentucky Derby. He had begun his racing career a mere 77 days before the Derby.
He won his first three races by a combined 19 lengths and made his trainer Bob Baffert a believer.
"The raw talent is there," said Baffert. "He just came on there and broke every curse there was. It was meant to be."
At 6-0, he joins Seattle Slew in 1977 as the only two undefeated Triple Crown winners.
Not even close
There were a few bids made by other horses turning for home. Vino Rosso made the most serious move to get within a length, but never threatened. Justify pulled away down the 1,097-yard stretch in front of screaming fans with only 24-1 shot Gronkowski picking off a half-dozen rivals in taking up the chase down the lane.
"My thought turning for home was that he had a shot to get him if Justify was vulnerable at mile and a half," said Chad Brown, who trains Gronkowski. "I thought maybe, because I could see Gronkowski flying, but he just couldn't get to that horse."
av/bw (AP, Reuters, AFP)