by Cayce McCarthy. Arts and Entertainment blogger.
Yesterday on June 9th an amazing feat was won by the horse Justify at the 150th Belmont Stakes in New York. Justify won the last race of the Triple Crown series by 1 ¾ lengths (a unit of measurement used in horse racing). The last horse to win the triple crown was American Pharaoh back in 2014. The Triple Crown is one of the most elusive prizes to win in the world of sports. In fact, before American Pharaoh won the last horse to win it was Affirmed back in 1978.
This time gap between winners is known as the Triple Crown drought so there’s definitely cause for excitement that Justify managed to win it four years after American Pharaoh. Justify is the second horse to win the Triple Crown with an undefeated record, the first being Seattle Slew back in 1977. Justify was also the first horse to win the race starting from the rail 45 years after the famous Secretariat, however, no horse has ever broken Secretariat’s record of winning a race by 31 lengths. To be clearer a length is the length of the horse from nose to tail which is approximately 8ft. Another attribute Justify has is that he didn’t enter the racing world at age 2 like most horses do.
Justify beat 35 other horses throughout the Derby, Preakness, and Belmont combined. Justify’s trainer, Bob Baffert, also makes history to be the second trainer to have two Triple Crown winning horses. The first trainer to win two Triple Crowns was “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons who won with his horse Gallant Fox in 1930 and with Omaha in 1935. This was also Baffert’s fifth attempt to win the triple crown, which is three more than any other trainer. The jockey who rode Justify to victory was Mike Smith, who won his first Triple Crown.