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  • Chris Costello

Justify is on his way to the Big Sandy in bid for a Triple Crown after a gutsy win at the Preakness

On Saturday, May 19, 6:00 pm, it was around forty-five minutes until post time for the Preakness. Here we were again, two weeks later on another rainy weekend, another sloppy dirt track, and Justify was wearing the number 7 again. Now, I made up my mind earlier in the season at the Santa Anita Derby, that Justify was the best 3 year old horse in the country. Did I know he would be this good? Absolutely not. Justify has won races from off the pace and on the pace. So he can win races both ways. Everyone had this feeling that the Preakness would be somewhat of a match race between him and Good Magic. Well, that feeling was kinda right, of course with some craziness on top of it at the end of the race. As expected, like Good Magic's jockey said he would do, Jose Ortiz took it to Justify and Mike Smith right from the start of the race. I am not going to lie. It was crazy and so exciting at the same time to see them go back and forth. Then in the final turn into the fog you couldn't see anything. Who appeared finally in the lead at the stretch? JUSTIFY! The crowd went wild. Justify made his move with Good Magic right behind, but here is where it gets crazy. Tenfold is coming, Bravazo is coming and now Lone Sailor. Before the race I thought it would be Justify (7), Good Magic (5), Bravazo (8), Tenfold (6), and Lone Sailor (2) in that order finishing the top five in the race. Well it was that until the final 10-20 yards or so. The final order would be 7-8-6-5-2. Bravazo came from the outside, blazing. Mike Smith, not seeing him because of the fog, had let up at the end knowing he had Good Magic beat and didn't want to use up Justify's energy too much. It was close, but Justify was victorious. All five horses finished in three lengths of each other. Unreal. Some people saw weaknesses in this race with Justify. They say did you see Bravazo fly up on the outside, he would've caught him with more race to go, meaning at the Belmont. Some people say the horse was gassed after the race. Well to all the negativity on Justify and all the naysayers, I say your wrong, wrong, damn wrong. Justify ran a gutsy race. He fought with Good Magic the whole race and held off some pretty damn good closers at the end. Justify ran the Preakness almost three seconds faster than past champion, American Pharoah. Both raced on a sloppy track. Maybe since American Pharoah's Triple Crown was won on a 37 year hiatus since its past champion, Affirmed, but since its only been three years people want to say its too easy or I don't know what to even say here. Well folks, let me tell something. The Triple Crown is never easy and come June 9, your going see a very special horse attempt to become the 13th Triple Crown Champion. The mile and half at Belmont is the test of all true champions. I believe Justify has what it takes to do it. People will debate and hate on the Justify winning it. I'm telling you. There are some race horses that take your breath away. You are in awe when you see you him up close. So I ask you, enough of the negativity and debating on whether you think he deserves to be talked about with the greats in the sport and past triple crown champions. Just watch him. Watch the race. He is a rare and very unique horse. He never raced as a Juvenile. I think he has run 5 races in 90 days or less. He has showed us power, speed and guts. Come June 9, I think he has it in him to show you more. I believe he has something left in the tank to show us just how special he is. Justify is the best three-year old in the country. Justify is the best horse in the county. June 9, tune in. I promise all of you, you will see greatness. You will see Justify.

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