Will Justify Win the Triple Crown?

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D.S. Williamson

May 8th, 2018

The mud had barely had a time to settle on the horse's hoofs and already everyone was discussing Justify's chances of winning the Triple Crown. Why not? It's been 3 years since American Pharoah won the Triple Crown. Trainer Bob Baffert claims that Justify is the 3-year-old best equipped to win the Crown since American Pharoah.

If Bob believes in Justify's chances, shouldn't we?

Will Justify Win the Triple Crown?

I've broken up this blog into reasons why Justify will win the Triple Crown and reasons why Justify won't win the Triple Crown. Check out the Derby first. Then, get to my reasons for both sides of the argument.

Reasons Justify Will Win the Triple Crown

He's the best horse of his generation - It's obvious that, at least up until now, Justify is the best 3-year-old in the world. He buried Ballydoyle's hope, UAE Derby winner Mendelssohn. He held off 2-year-old champion Good Magic. He kept Todd Pletcher's best 3-year-old, Audible, at bay. Sometimes, it's as easy as the best horse winning all 3 Triple Crown races.

He's bred to win the Belmont Stakes - The Preakness Stakes is at a shorter distance than the Derby. Justify should handle the Preakness no problem. But, the Belmont Stakes is an all together different animal. Scat Daddy is from the Mr. Prospector, Hennessy line.
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Justify winning the Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography

That's not where Justify gets most of his stamina.

He gets most of his stamina from his broodmare, Stage Magic. She's from the Awesome Again, Pulpit, Ghostzapper line. Ghostzapper was a freak. His grandson looks like a freak as well.

This is Bob Baffert - Baffert is the greatest horse racing trainer of all time. Not only did Baffert win the Triple Crown in 2015 with American Pharoah, but he also produced the best 3-year-old in 2016 in Arrogate. Heck, he produced the best 3-year-old in 2017 in West Coast. If Bob says the horse can win the Crown, who are we to argue?

Reasons Justify Won't Win the Triple Crown

It's difficult to win the Triple Crown - Only 13 horses have won the Triple Crown. It's almost impossible to win. American Pharoah made it look easy. However, American Pharoah turned out to be a once in a lifetime horse. Is Justify a once in a lifetime horse?

Justify faces stiff competition - Let's be honest. Who was American Pharoah's top competition in 2015? Frosted. That's who. Good Magic appears to be much better than Frosted. Not only that, but so are Audible and the horse that finished fourth, Instilled Regard.

He's too lightly raced to win the Triple Crown - Justify is a good racehorse. Heck, he's a great racehorse. The problem is that he's still too lightly raced to win the Triple Crown. The Preakness is run two weeks after the Derby. Then, 3 weeks later is the Belmont Stakes. Can Justify truly win the Preakness in only his fifth lifetime race? Then, come back 3 weeks later and win the grueling Test of Champions in only his sixth lifetime race? History says "no".

There are definitely pros and cons when it comes to Justify winning the Triple Crown. If I had to wager, which I don't, I'd wager that Justify doesn't win the Triple Crown. Don't get me wrong, he's talented enough and there's no trainer better able to prepare him than Bob Baffert.

But, winning the Triple Crown is tough. Also, I'm not convinced that Justify is ready for what comes next. I hope I'm wrong because I'd love to see Bob get two Triple Crowns.