Heavy fog and a muddy track didn’t stop Justify from winning the 143rd Preakness Stakes on Saturday and putting the American thoroughbred just one win away from the Triple Crown.
Ridden by jockey Mike Smith and trained by Bob Baffert, Justify took the lead late in the race but held on for the narrow victory with a winning time of 1:55.93.
“Oh, man. It was a nail-biter,” Baffert told NBC after the race. “They put it to us. That [Good Magic] was a good horse, and it was like they had their own private match race. Somebody had to give, and I’m glad it wasn’t us. I’m so happy that we got it done. He’s just a great horse to handle all that pressure and keep on running.”
After besting eight horses at today’s race in front of an announced crowd of 134,487 at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, and the Kentucky Derby on May 5, Justify is next headed to the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York, on June 9, where he could become one of only two horses in 40 years to sweep the Triple Crown.
Justify has remained undefeated in four career starts, which has led to him being compared to another racing great, American Pharoah, who, in 2015, was the last to win all three race.
The 3-year-old colt is undefeated in five career starts.