What a “nail biter” that race was, there were 3 other horses right near him, one to his left, I believe it was his stable mate, Quip and they were closing in on him. He won by a nose. I was out of my chair yelling at the screen, GO JUSTIFY GO!
As I was watching this race, I realized that EXACTLY 45 yrs ago that very day (May 19th) Secretariat was winning this very same race, only with him, he had again, come from behind, and totally bypassed Sham, and won by 2 & 1/2 lengths. Will Justify win the Belmont? Only he knows. That final race is a grueling one. It’s the longest at a mile and a half. I’m still amazed at how Secretariat was able to pull ahead of Sham and win the Belmont by 31 lengths. No horse before or since him has done that., probably never will. In my eyes, he had God at his back.
I’m going to be that Justify will NOT take the Belmont, seeing how he barely won the Preakness. I can only hope he does, but I’m not setting my heart on it. The last horse to do that was American Pharoah in 2015. And before him it was Affirmed in 1978. A year before that was Seattle Slew, and though he didn’t come close to Secretariat’s time (no horse has), one thing that separates Seattle Slew from Secretariat is…..Seattle Slew was totally unbeaten, he had NEVER lost a race.
One thing about Justify is that he broke the curse of Appollo. If you haven’t heard about that, it’s said that in 1882, a horse named Appollo, was the last horse (until Justify) to win the Kentucky Derby and was not run as a 2yr old. No horse (between the two) that was not run as a two year old has won the Derby. Justify broke that curse. Maybe it’ll be raining again in 3 weeks when he runs in the Belmont, but I’m not holding my breath. The jockey, Mike Smith is a very successful jockey though, and I have faith that he will come close if he doesn’t win. Most owners, trainers and jockeys go into the Belmont hoping that their horse will win, but not exactly counting on it. The only one I know to have counted on it was Secretariat’s owner Penny Chenery-Tweedy, she knew he would win the Triple Crown, she convinced a wealthy horse owner that he would win, and by God, she was right.
In my eyes, he should’ve been called Pegasus. He flew in all three races. There’ll NEVER be another horse like him, at least not in my lifetime.