Giants owner celebrates Triple Crown with jab at Gronkowski

Justify, with jockey Mike Smith up leads the pack as it approaches the first turn during the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race Saturday

American Pharoah ended a 37-year drought in 2015 and now just four years later, racing is celebrating another sweep of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont.

"It's been the longest, quickest journey", Baffert said Sunday.

Smith, who ran in the No. 1 post for the first time in his career at Belmont, chuckled at Espinoza's comment, noting that he has to say that about his horse. Once he does, jockey Mike Smith will settle Justify much like Elliott tried with Smarty Jones, a similarly speedy colt. It feels pretty good.

"American Pharoah loved human contact", Baffert told the Louisville Courier-Journal. "He's a brilliant, superior horse". "If he could win a graded race it would be unbelievable".

Field was trackside for the final leg of the Triple Crown in NY as Justify continued the incredible partnership of WinStar, the China Horse Club and SF Bloodstock, which started in Australia.

Justify's victory moved Baffert past D. Wayne Lukas to become the winningest trainer in Triple Crown races with 15.

"To become just the 13th victor of the Triple Crown is fantastic and even more special is the fact that he is only the second Triple Crown victor to be bought at public auction after Seattle Slew in 1977".

"He probably broke better today than he has out of the other two (Derby and Preakness), to be honest with you", Smith said. He slogged through muddy conditions to win the Kentucky Derby and then emerged from a dense fog to capture the Preakness Stakes.

Smith got the colt into a relaxed rhythm under a moderate pace heading into the backstretch, and he had an easy trip from there. He fought off challenges from Vino Ross and Gronkowski and cruised home to history.

Smith said Justify was so calm in the gate that he was anxious he might not break. He did and led wire-to-wire.

"This horse ran a tremendous race, he's so gifted", said Smith, who looked to the sky to celebrate after his ride.

"Did you see him in the gate, he's standing so still", Smith said. "He's a gift from heaven".

The China Horse Club not only part own Justify but had the honour of him completing the Triple Crown racing in their now famous colours, which are increasingly seen around tracks in New Zealand.

Gunther guesses Justify's next race will be $1.25-million Grade 1 Travers Stakes on August 25 at Saratoga, with an eventual appearance at the Breeder's Cup.

Though their running styles and strides are different, Baffert said there is only one thing that matters at the end of the day: they're fast.

Justify also reached his high value at record speeds considering his first start was only 111 days ago on February 18.

The powerful colt with the blaze running the length of his face showed no signs that the rigors of running a compressed schedule had gotten to him. Despite drawing the rail, Justify went off as a 4-5 favorite and more than lived up to his billing.

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