Justify, the latest winner of Kentucky Derby Championship is a confirmed participant at the next big racing event, the May 19th Preakness event. Apart from the Kentucky Derby, the Triple Crown Series includes Preakness races. The usual line-up of rivals against Justify is yet to be named for this event. In fact, there is uncertainty about their participation, for a variety of reasons.
Form backing colt’s candidature
The key factor for the 2018 Kentucky Derby winner to make the cut for Preakness later next week is his excellent form.
According to Bob Baffert, the winning chestnut’s trainer, his excellent form has been of primary importance. Predicting the stud’s chances for a win in the upcoming event, Baffert said, “if he stays healthy and he looks good, I think he’s just getting it now. He knows he’s a stud. He’s so beautiful. He’s got the body. It looks like it was nothing for him.”
Backing his favorite horse was jockey Mike Smith.
He said even at the last 1/8 mile, Justify was not tired and had “plenty left” in him. Smith said much of his efforts, during the Derby winning race, were directed in preventing the young colt from over-exerting himself.
But, the champion horse is yet to know whom he will race against at the Pimlico Race Course, on the 19th.
While there is no confirmation on the line-up, it is likely that one of the participants could be the runner-up at the Derby, Good Magic. In the just concluded finals, Magic’s late lead not only let him be the runner-up but now run at Preakness, as well. Trainer Chad Brown has announced that he is returning to New York with his star performer for the better recuperation of his wards. “The horse is sound. He looks good, but I just have to observe him. I want to get the horse back home and evaluate his energy level. We’ve just got to go from there.”
In last year’s version at Preakness, Good Magic had taken the crown, piping Cloud Computing. In the 2007 version, Curlin, Good Magic’s father had been the winner and had been trained by Brown.
In the case of Justify, however, the stakes are way different believes the trainer. Though Good Magic has been through many testing races, at Preakness racing against Justify may be a different story for him, says Brown.
Commending Justify’s win, Brown said, “I’m very impressed. This was his first try at a mile and a quarter, too, with not a ton of experience. When you watched the race unfold, it was just tough to envision a scenario in which that horse could’ve gotten beat yesterday, really from any post.”
Justify’s Trainer decry short break between Triple Crown
Todd Pletcher has always opined that the short two-week break between the first two legs of Triple Crown is a challenge. After the Kentucky Derby, the immediate start of the second chapter at Preakness will this year mean many of Pletcher’s big-name horses will not be in the race. It is likely that even third placeholder at Derby – Audible – will also not come to Preakness.
And it is not Audible who will not be making the run. Horses which were fancied rivals of Justify, Bolt d’Oro, the star horse from California and the much talked about Mendelssohn too would not arrive for the Baltimore face-off.