Kentucky Derby Winner Justify Is Favored To Win Soggy Preakness

Will Justify be racing's 13th Triple Crown winner

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Justify endured the most hard race of his career and came away a step closer to becoming trainer Bob Baffert's second Triple Crown champion in four years.

Trainer Bob Baffert, who also trained 2015 Triple Crown victor American Pharoah, won his 14th classic race, tying D. Wayne Lukas for most all-time.

According to OddsShark, Justify is the early favorite to win the Belmont at +125, while Audible is second in the odds at +400. When Justify emerged from the haze in view of the grandstand, trainer Bob Baffert could see jockey Mike Smith's white silks and knew his horse had been pushed to his limit with 100 yards left to go.

"I love what I see", Brown said after Good Magic jogged over the wet track.

"That was a nail-biter".

"I'm so happy that we got it done", Baffert said. He didn't blow away the field of three Derby horses and four new challengers, but he showed something else "These great horses, they just define themselves when they get in that situation", Baffert said.

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Jockey Mike Smith was equally as elated. He admitted his horse grew worn out by the battle with Good Magic.

"We're going to try and get a Breeders' Cup there", Ritvo said of Laurel, "and we're going to have the day in and day out racing there, and those improvements needed to come whether the Preakness moved or not".

"It was a nail-biter", Baffert said in the immediate aftermath of the 1 3/16-mile showcase. Good Magic finished 2-1/2 lengths behind Justify two weeks ago at Churchill Downs.

It also made it hard for Baffert and his team to watch as the horses went down the backside.

While Justify is the 2-5 favorite in the eight-horse field, the colt suffered a bruised heel and there may be worries that it could be irritated after workouts in the mud. He won in 1:55.93, after leading at every quarter pole - three by a head, twice by a half-length. The third leg of the Triple Crown is the Belmont Stakes on June 9. Baffert also remained undefeated with Derby winners in the Preakness following Silver Charm, Real Quiet, War Emblem and American Pharoah.

That Justify, a unique physical specimen with blazing early speed, was able to win the Derby at all off just three career races in 77 days, was not only an impressive training feat by Baffert but a testament to the horse's vast talent.

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