Kentucky Derby winner Justify hot favorite for the Preakness Stakes

The hype is justifiable.The Bob Baffert-trained Justify won the Kentucky Derby and will start as hot favorite ...

Posted: May 18, 2018 11:09 AM
Updated: May 18, 2018 11:09 AM

The hype is justifiable.

The Bob Baffert-trained Justify won the Kentucky Derby and will start as hot favorite for the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the US horse racing's Triple Crown, in Baltimore Saturday.

Bob Baffert-trained Justify favorite for Preakness Stakes

Kentucky Derby winner bidding for second leg of Triple Crown

Last Triple Crown winner was American Pharoah in 2015

Victory over the dirt of the Pimlico racecourse would set up Mike Smith's mount for the longer mile-and-a-half of the Belmont Stakes in New York in three weeks' time.

The last Triple Crown winner was American Pharoah in 2015 -- also saddled by Hall of Fame trainer Baffert.

"There's a saying I heard when I was very young: 'Do the usual unusually well.' Everything this horse does is not ordinary, it's extraordinary," Smith said in a video on the race's social media channels.

READ: Favorite Justify wins Kentucky Derby on wettest race day

READ: Why the English Classics are breed apart

'Really, really special'

The 65-year-old Baffert has won the Preakness Stakes six times, including with all four of his previous Kentucky Derby winners -- Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), War Emblem (2002) and American Pharoah (2015).

However, only American Pharoah was able to go on and secure the fabled Triple Crown, the first horse to do so since Affirmed in 1978. Even the great California Chrome couldn't quite land the third leg after winning the Derby and Preakness in 2014.

Justify, out of illustrious stallion Scat Daddy, was the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby having not run as a two-year-old, breaking the so-called "Curse of Apollo" -- a reference to the last horse to achieve the feat in 1882.

However, the chestnut colt has won all four of his races as a three-year-old and Baffert says he knew immediately he was exceptional.

"The first time we worked this horse I said, 'I think we have something really special,' and after his maiden win [in February] I thought, man, he's really, really special," Baffert told reporters at Churchill Downs.

Justify beat Good Magic by two-and-half lengths to clinch the $1.432 million first prize in Louisville and will face trainer Chad Brown's chance again in the eight-runner field Saturday.

READ: The legend of America's greatest war horse

READ: Racing's 'Everest' aims to win back 'Snapchat generation'

'You can't mail it in'

Victory in the Preakness, which was first staged in 1873, two years before the iconic Kentucky Derby, would tie Baffert on 14 wins in Triple Crown races alongside famed handler and close friend D. Wayne Lukas, who turned him down for a job as an 18-year-old.

Baffert can also move past Lukas' six Preakness wins and tie 19th century trainer R. Wyndham Walden on a record seven victories in the event, known as the "Race for the Black-Eyed Susans" after the blanket of yellow flowers that is draped over the winner.

"I was really impressed with Justify in the Derby, Bob did a tremendous job," the 82-year-old Lukas told reporters at Pimlico this week.

"Yet you can't mail it in. We'll keep it honest and we're not going to walk over and engrave the trophy yet. You've got to at least make it difficult for him, even though he's probably going to get it."

Lukas has two entries in Bravazo, who was sixth in the Kentucky Derby, and Sporting Chance.

Of Bravazo, who will line up in lane eight outside Justify, he said: "I really think he'll move forward. You've got have a tough horse here and he's tough."

Another fancied contender is Quip, trained by Rodolphe Brisset, who missed the Derby but has won three of his five starts including the Tampa Bay Derby in March. Derby third Audible will be absent, further justifying the claims of the favorite.

Visit CNN.com/horseracing for more news, features and videos

The race carries a purse of $1.5 million, with the historic $4 million Woodlawn Vase, created by Tiffany and Co. in 1860, awarded to the winner.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 57162

Reported Deaths: 1660
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin18197820
Ramsey7047261
Dakota4049103
Anoka3410113
Stearns284220
Washington193843
Nobles17496
Olmsted163523
Scott141017
Mower10842
Rice10028
Blue Earth8595
Wright8205
Carver7922
Clay75240
Kandiyohi6771
Sherburne6577
St. Louis45319
Todd4202
Lyon4163
Freeborn3551
Steele3331
Nicollet32013
Benton3103
Watonwan2990
Winona24916
Crow Wing21313
Martin2045
Le Sueur2021
Beltrami2000
Chisago1821
Otter Tail1793
Goodhue1778
Cottonwood1730
Becker1471
Pipestone1439
McLeod1400
Unassigned14040
Polk1353
Itasca13412
Douglas1320
Waseca1300
Pine1280
Carlton1260
Dodge1230
Murray1221
Isanti1100
Chippewa991
Brown852
Faribault840
Meeker832
Morrison821
Wabasha820
Sibley802
Rock750
Koochiching743
Pennington731
Jackson700
Mille Lacs683
Cass622
Fillmore610
Renville605
Lincoln540
Swift521
Grant511
Yellow Medicine490
Roseau460
Pope450
Houston390
Norman370
Hubbard320
Redwood320
Marshall290
Kanabec281
Wilkin283
Aitkin270
Mahnomen241
Wadena230
Big Stone220
Red Lake200
Lake180
Stevens160
Clearwater150
Traverse100
Lac qui Parle60
Kittson30
Cook20
Lake of the Woods10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 46100

Reported Deaths: 887
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk9781203
Woodbury365651
Black Hawk302262
Linn214587
Johnson195915
Dallas179635
Buena Vista178612
Scott161512
Dubuque154929
Marshall139424
Pottawattamie122723
Story111714
Wapello85032
Muscatine83048
Webster7366
Crawford7213
Sioux6022
Cerro Gordo57917
Tama53929
Warren5341
Jasper45825
Wright4441
Plymouth4438
Louisa37814
Dickinson3754
Clinton3213
Washington28810
Hamilton2411
Boone2312
Franklin2256
Bremer1927
Clarke1883
Carroll1821
Emmet1812
Clay1711
Shelby1691
Hardin1660
Marion1550
Allamakee1504
Poweshiek1508
Benton1451
Jackson1411
Des Moines1392
Mahaska13617
Floyd1312
Guthrie1285
Jones1242
Cedar1201
Hancock1172
Butler1152
Buchanan1141
Henry1143
Pocahontas1141
Lyon1060
Madison1052
Clayton993
Cherokee981
Harrison980
Lee973
Taylor930
Humboldt921
Delaware911
Iowa901
Monona900
Winneshiek861
Mills830
Calhoun822
Fayette810
Sac810
Palo Alto800
Kossuth780
Osceola780
Jefferson770
Winnebago770
Mitchell760
Page760
Grundy741
Union721
Monroe677
Worth610
Chickasaw510
Davis501
Lucas504
Howard490
Cass481
Montgomery453
Appanoose433
Greene380
Fremont350
Van Buren331
Keokuk311
Ida290
Audubon281
Decatur220
Adair210
Ringgold211
Wayne181
Adams160
Unassigned00
Rochester
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 71°
Mason City
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 71°
Albert Lea
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 70°
Austin
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 72°
Charles City
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 70°
Rain returns for Wednesday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Sean's Weather 8/5

Image

A closer look a the Graham Park testing site

Image

Temporary rental assistance available in Olmsted County

Image

Gold and Silver Prices Going Up

Image

Memorial Bicycle Ride

Image

MSHSL votes to postpone football and volleyball

Image

Rochester Public Schools survey parent opinions about options

Image

Waterloo hands Rochester 13th straight loss

Image

Mason City Fire Department burn training

Image

Coronavirus impact on the 2020 census

Community Events