Many horse racing fans are wondering if Justify can make history by wining the Triple Crown. According to OddsShark, Vegas was giving Justify 7 to 5 odds (+140) to win the Triple Crown, and 37 to 20 odds (-185) to come up short prior to the Preakness. After the Preakness, OddsShark reported there were even -120 odds for Justify to both win and come up short.
According to OddsShark, Justify is the early favorite to win the Belmont at +125, while Audible is second in the odds at +400. Justify will have three weeks to recover from a taxing Preakness race, that turned out to be highly competitive despite a narrow field of eight.
Justify entered the Preakness as a favorite to win with 4 to 9 odds (-225). The horse was a strong favorite in a small field of seven other horses. American Pharoah was the last horse to win the Triple Crown in 2015, but there had been a 37 year drought prior to the horse completing the historic feat. Justify’s trainer Bob Baffert was also part of the 2015 Triple Crown victory.
There had been some concern heading into the Preakness over Justify’s injury, and how it could potentially derail any hopes of a win. According to CBS Sports, Justify was given a patch for a bruised hind leg after the Kentucky Derby. CBS Sports Hank Goldberg noted there was concern over the injury.
“It looked like his two hind legs were a little out of sync,” Goldberg noted on CBS Sports. “He might have a quarter crack and they put a patch over it, but a quarter crack could cause an infection. It would feel like his hoof is in a pressure cooker if he ran in the slop and got something lodged underneath it. There’s enough suspicion there.”
Goldberg later noted Justify looked in top form in his Thursday run at Pimlico, and explained fans should not be too concerned about Justify not being 100 percent.
“Nobody gets a horse ready after a two-week layoff than Bob Baffert,” Goldberg explained on CBS Sports. “I trust Baffert implicitly. He’s not worried about it. He wouldn’t risk the horse if it were something serious.”
Baffert clarified to Business Insider that Justify had sustained a cracked heel, but believes it would not impact the horse at the Preakness.
“We were treating it for a cracked heel, but it never developed because we didn’t let it develop,” Baffert told Business Insider. “It’s all behind us, and we’re on to Baltimore.”
Baffert doubled down on his confidence in an interview with The Action Network.
“When I tell you the horse is ready to go, he’s ready to go,” Baffert explained to The Action Network (via Business Insider). “I’ll see you in New York.”
Baffert was proven correct, and has not tried to squash the comparisons to American Pharoah. In some ways, Justify is farther along than American Pharoah was at this stage of his career, given the horse did not race as a two-year-old.
“He’s been running. This is going to be his fifth race,” Baffert told Horse Racing Nation. “He’s been running every three weeks. He’s had a tough schedule. But he looks good. Flesh-wise, he looks healthy. The main thing is, he’s a really good horse. That’s what makes him so great. He’s a superior horse, just like American Pharoah. What he’s done in that short 75 days to win the Kentucky Derby, to go, go, go, – and he ran with some good horses – he makes my job a lot easier.”
Horse racing fans will want to keep an eye out for news out of Justify’s barn to see how he came out of the Preakness. The horse was able to overcome injury prior to the Preakness, and hopefully will not have to do the same before the Belmont. Justify was able to win by just a 1/2 length.
Here’s a look at the opening Belmont odds courtesy of OddsShark (via Bet365).
Belmont Odds 2018
|My Boy Jack||+800|