Justify's record now stands at 5-0 as he looks on to the Belmont Stakes in NY on June 9. I'm just so blessed to be riding for these people right now.
While it's a field of eight horses, it's expected to be a two-horse race: Justify and Good Magic.
"We were treating it for a cracked heel, but it never developed because we didn't let it develop", Baffert told Business Insider.
"He has to come out of the race well, and he's got to be training really well", Baffert said. Bravazo edged long-shot Tenfold for second, and Good Magic was fourth.
When the horses finally emerged into view, Justify had been through a full mile of a head-to-head duel with Good Magic, a battle that clearly exhausted both horses. "I would have liked to see a different scenario, maybe where we're just off the pace a little bit, we weren't getting pressed on the fence the whole way". The 2018 Preakness Stakes will be broadcast live from Pimlico Race Course.
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With veteran jockey Mike Smith shepherding the way, Justify has taken first place in all five of his career races.
"He got a little exhausted at the end, but he also was waiting on the competition", Smith said. "This is his hardest race that he's had". And standing by his side will be Walden, whose WinStar Farm is the majority owner of Justify, the prohibitive 1-2 favorite in Saturday's 143rd running of the Preakness Stakes.
It's also the sixth time in six tries that Baffert has won the Preakness after winning the Kentucky Derby.
It was Baffert who saddled American Pharoah in 2015 when the three-year-old became the first horse in 37 years to win all three. Only 12 horses have won the Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes) in more than 130 years of competition.
"I love what I see", Brown said after Good Magic jogged over the wet track. "I did the same thing with American Pharoah, all my horses that ran the Triple Crown, they have to be 100 per cent". However, only the latter was able to go on and secure the Triple Crown, the first horse to do so since Affirmed in 1978, something even the great California Chrome could not achieve after winning the Derby and Preakness in 2014.
"We're going to make sure that he comes out of the race well and he trains well for it", Baffert said.