JUSTIFY 6-RACE TIME CAPSULE (18+ HOURS!!)
The JUSTIFY 6-Race Time Capsule is a VERY comprehensive collection of the 2018 Triple Crown Winner's six (6) lifetime races, all shown in their entire televised broadcasts...all the pre and post-race footage plus news and race works leading into each race, footage of him arriving by plane to the triple crown race venues, in addition to him parading at Churchill Downs after his Triple Crown triumph, his arrival back to his Santa Anita base amongst a throng of enthusiastic fans, all the fallout after news of his premature retirement hit the airwaves, the farewell parade at Del Mar and his arrival at his new home at Coolmore's Ashford Stud:
1) Maiden Special Weight (Santa Anita Park on 2/18/18)
2) Optional Claiming Race (Santa Anita Park on 3/11/18)
3) Santa Anita Derby (4/07/18)
4) Kentucky Derby (5/05/18)
5) Preakness Stakes (5/19/18)
6) Belmont Stakes (6/09/18)
JUSTIFY defied all odds on his way to achieving Triple Crown immortality. The late bloomer ran into the history books by winning the 2018 Belmont Stakes in wire-to-wire fashion by 1¾ lengths, giving the sport its 13th Triple Crown champion and being only the second undefeated horse to do so. AMERICAN PHAROAH ended a 37-year drought in 2015 and just four years later, racing celebrated another sweep of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont.
JUSTIFY, the son of SCAT DADDY, didn't compete until February 18, 2018, starting his racing career as much as nine months later than some members of his generation. He began jumping through hoops in machine-like fashion that horses with his experience, or lack thereof, would never have been able to handle. He won his first three races by a combined 19 lengths; he went from maiden winner to grade I victor to classic hero in just over 70 days making trainer Bob Baffert a believer. In all, he crammed six lifetime races into 112 days - winning all of them!
The big chestnut colt with the appetite to match burst onto the national scene with a 2½-length victory on a sloppy track in the Kentucky Derby. Two weeks later, he survived a challenge in the fog-shrouded Preakness winning by a half-length, again in the slop to set up a Triple Crown bid.
"The raw talent is there," Baffert said. "He just came on there and broke every curse there was. It was meant to be."
On a cloudy 80-degree day at Belmont Park, JUSTIFY proved a cool customer. He didn't flinch when greeted by 90,327 roaring fans as he walked onto the track. He stood so quietly in the starting gate that jockey Mike Smith wondered if he'd respond when it sprang open.
Did he ever.
JUSTIFY led all the way in achieving one of the sports world's toughest feats 45 years to the day that SECRETARIAT won the Belmont by a record 31 lengths. Baffert called JUSTIFY one of the all-time greats. "I think he's the greatest of all time," Smith said. "I just won the Triple Crown, man. He's my champion."
JUSTIFY accomplished A LOT in a very short time. The powerful colt with the blaze running the length of his face showed no signs that the rigors of running a compressed schedule had gotten to him. Beyond the Triple Crown, JUSTIFY won all six of his lifetime races making him undefeated and became the first horse since APOLLO in 1882 to win the Kentucky Derby despicte not racing as a two-year-old.
On a fast, dry track, JUSTIFY was just as good in his third race in five weeks at his third different track. At 6-0, he joins SEATTLE SLEW in 1977 as the only two undefeated Triple Crown winners; he's the first to sweep the series without racing at age two (because of a pulled muscle); and he's the only horse to beat nine rivals in the Belmont with a Triple Crown on the line. SLEW also was a wire-to-wire Belmont winner.
JUSTIFY's human handlers also made history: Baffert became the second trainer to win the Triple Crown twice, having conditioned AMERICAN PHAROAH. James "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons guided GALLANT FOX in 1930 and his son, OMAHA in 1935.
"The great ones, they just find another gear," JUSTIFY's trainer, Bob Baffert, said, adding, "if he was great, he's going to do it, and that's what it's about. It never gets old," Baffert said, "AMERICAN PHAROAH, he'll always be my first love, but, man, for this horse to do it...."
At 52, Smith became the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown. He celebrated by grabbing white carnations from the winner's blanket and tossing them in the air. Smith and JUSTIFY took a curtain call before entering the winner's circle. Back in New York where he dominated in the 1990s, Smith took JUSTIFY on a walk past the packed grandstand, soaking in the cheers and giving the crowd a closer look at racing's newest hero.
JUSTIFY's victory gives racing its second Triple Crown winner of the decade. The last time there were two Triple Crown champions in the same decade was the 1970s, which produced SECRETARIAT, SEATTLE SLEW and AFFIRMED.
Purchased for $500,000, JUSTIFY earned $800,000 for his Belmont win, giving him $3,798,000 in his brief career.
Sent off as the 4-5 favorite, Justify ran the 1½ mile Belmont Stakes in 2:28.18. "This horse ran a tremendous race, he's so gifted," Smith said. "He's sent from heaven. I tell you, it's just amazing...I can't even begin to describe my emotions right now."
Unfortunately, JUSTIFY never raced again after winning the Triple Crown due to, "fluid in his left front ankle", being retired in July, 2018. Trainer Bob Baffert said he couldn't determine if JUSTIFY would be healthy enough for a Fall racing campaign and instead chose to call it a career for the strapping chestnut. And despite an inability to race as a four-year-old, JUSTIFY's legacy is secure. In the end, only a bum ankle could defeat JUSTIFY.
(18 Hours and 40 Minutes)
|Format(s) Available:||DVD And VHS|
|Category:||U.S. & Canadian Flat Racing|