Justify is going for the third jewel in horse racing’s Triple Crown at the Belmont. How much money does Justify’s team get if he is able to win the Belmont? Contrary to popular belief, there is no monetary bonus in horse racing for winning the Triple Crown. According to America’s Best Racing, Triple Crown winners earn a silver trophy, in addition to the satisfaction of being part of history.
With a Belmont win, Justify’s team will get the winner’s share of the Belmont purse, which is $1.5 million, just like any other horse. According to CNBC, first place wins $800,000 for the Belmont. If Justify is able to win the Triple Crown, he would earn $2.94 million total for the three Triple Crown Races (Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont). Justify earned $1.24 million with his Kentucky Derby victory, and $900,000 from the Belmont win.
Based on previously released data, second place wins $280,000 at the Belmont. Third place earns $150,000, fourth place receives $100,000 and fifth place walks away with $60,000. The top eight horse racing teams win money, meaning $45,000 for sixth place, $35,000 for seventh and $30,000 for coming in eighth.
How the money is divided on a race team is a bit more complicated, and varies across ownership groups. CNBC broke down what Justify’s jockey Mike Smith would win if Justify can win the Belmont.
Justify’s 52-year-old jockey, Mike Smith, would also benefit from a victory at Belmont: The winning horse rider gets 10 percent of what the owners collect which means that Smith, who already collected checks for $124,000 and $90,000 from the first two legs of the Triple Crown, would earn an additional $80,000. That number would get shaved down about 30 percent after Smith pays his agent and valet, the person who gets the jockey’s gear in place.
The second and third place jockeys get 5 percent of their owner’s take ($280,000 and $150,000 for Belmont), meaning the second place jockey will get a check for $14,000 and the third place jockey will get one for $7,500, before fees.
A Justify win would mark the second Triple Crown win in three years with American Pharoah’s 2015 performance. Both Justify and American Pharoah were trained by Bob Baffert, and the trainer has no problem comparing the two horses. Baffert noted both horses are equally talented, but Justify is not a huge fan of people.
“American Pharoah loved human contact,” Baffert explained to AL.com. “He was a very sweet horse and is still very sweet. He loves people, will put his head in your lap. I’m probably closer to that horse because of his temperament…Justify, you can walk up to him and he might give you three, four, five seconds and then he’s done with you. He’ll try to bite your head off. It’s not in a mean way. He’s just a big, tough horse. He’ll run you out of the stall.”
Justify would become the 13th horse to ever win the Triple Crown, and only the second horse to win in the 2000’s. It would be the second Triple Crown victory for Baffert.