Justify won the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby, overtaking 20 horses in the mud at Churchill Downs. The 2-year-old colt was the favorite to win the race.
His trainer Bob Baffert has now won five Derbys and 52-year-old jockey Mike Smith grabbed his second win at the competition. According to The Associated Press, Justify ran 1¼ miles in 2 hours and 4 minutes. The colt just began racing in February and, so far, has four victories under his belt. He won the Derby on the rainiest day in the race’s history as nearly 3 inches fell on the large crowd throughout the day.
“Amazing horse. He’s got that ‘it’ factor. He is so above average, he’s got unbelievable talent and he’s got a mind to go with it. He was loving this stuff,” Smith said about Justify. Smith and Justify bolted out of the No. 7 spot at the starting gate and quickly overtook leader Promises Fulfilled to stay in the front until the end.
Good Magic and Audible were second and third, respectively.
Now, trainer Baffert has another shot at the Triple Crown. Three years ago, he trained American Pharoah to sweep the Derby, Preakness and Belmont for the first time in 37 years.
– Blair Halliday