2018 Belmont Stakes: Justify prepares for his Triple Crown
There is a reason why people suddenly become interested in horse racing when the Triple Crown races begin. Winning all three races in a very short span of time is one of the toughest things to do in sports, which is why only 12 horses have managed to pull it off. Justify will have his shot at history on Saturday in the Belmont Stakes, and the betting public seems to think that he will do it, as he is already in as a 4-5 favorite, with that price likely to drop as the money keeps rolling in. It’s exciting to see history being made, as it would if Justify were to win on Saturday at Belmont Park, but can he do it? Let’s look at both possibilities.
— Belmont Stakes (@BelmontStakes) June 5, 2018
The Case for Justify Winning the Triple Crown
Heading into the Kentucky Derby as the favorite, all people could talk about was how he couldn’t possibly win that race. The talk was all about his lack of experience, as well as the fact that he skipped racing in his 2-year old season. You had to go back over a 100 years to find a horse who had done that and went on the win the Derby. History seemed to be stacked against Justify, but the performance that he put in at Churchill Downs was nothing short of breathtaking.
Winning the Derby is a great feat, but you have to get right back to work and head to Maryland for the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in a couple of weeks. It’s a very quick turnaround time that is unusual in the horse racing world, which is why so many horses who win the Derby fail to win in the second leg of the Triple Crown. Justify once again handled a sloppy, foggy track to get the win, but it certainly wasn’t as pretty as his Derby win. He got there, though, once again maintaining his unbeaten record.
There are a lot of bettors who now believe that Justify can’t miss, but there is a reason why so few horses win the Triple Crown. If truth be told, there are several, and that is what we will look at next.
The Case Against Justify Winning the Triple Crown
As we have already mentioned, there have only been 12 horses that have won the Triple Crown. There have also been 11 more who have won the first two legs, only to fall flat at the Belmont Stakes. There are a few factors in play that make winning that final leg so difficult.
It would perhaps be a more level playing field if horses were required to run all three legs of the Triple Crown, but that is not what happens. There will be a few horses in the field on Saturday who skipped the Preakness and got some well-earned rest. It stands to reason that those horses are going to be fresher than Justify when the race begins.
The distance of this race is also a huge factor. The Belmont Stakes comes in at a mile and a half, which is a whole lot further than any of these horses have been asked to run. You take a tired horse and ask him to run further, and the results are usually that he runs out of gas. These are the things that may kill Justify’s chances of winning the Triple crown.