Owners: Triple Crown winner Justify will race again

The macot cheerleaders and players for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish

The macot cheerleaders and players for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish

On Saturday, Justify won the Belmont Stakes to become the 13th horse to win the Triple Crown, only four years after American Pharoah swept through the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont.

While saying Justify was the deserving victor, Repole told reporter Tom Pedula he felt like Restoring Hope, a 37-1 shot, ran interference for Justify against other horses in the race.

Justify won the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, becoming the 13th Triple Crown victor. But Smith turned it into an advantage, gunning Justify to the lead and defying any horse to challenge.

"I don't see how (Restoring Hope) got in anyone's way", the jockey told CNN Sport's Don Riddell. Racing officials have not yet received confirmation from Baffert, but they remain hopeful that the colt could be paraded in conjunction with the presentation of the Kentucky Derby trophy to his connections.

BC-RAC-Justify Returns, 140Justify back at Churchill Downs after winning Triple CrownAP Photo KYTE10, KYTE102, KYTE103Eds: APNewsNow.

Justify ridden by jockey Mike Smith wins the 150th Belmont Stakes
Justify ridden by jockey Mike Smith wins the 150th Belmont Stakes

Mike Repole, co-owner of horses that finished fourth and last in Saturday's Belmont Stakes, told the New York Post on Sunday he hopes stewards will look into the tactics used by the jockey for the "other" horse trained by Bob Baffert.

Assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes walked Justify before clicking cameras outside of Barn 33 and said the horse traveled well. "Restoring Hope is sort of running interference a little bit to keep Noble Indy from getting up there with Justify", Moss said on the telecast. 'I would have thought Baffert would have wanted Restoring Hope nowhere close to the pace'.

"I have no earthly idea what Florent was thinking or what his race strategy was", he said in an email response to a request for an interview.

'Had I known better, the first eighth of a mile I would have thought it was a quarter-horse race, not the mile-and-a-half Belmont. None of the other nine horses had a chance to catch him. "I will never know".

"He has natural speed", Baffert said. He has won all six races he has run this year. Justify is the 13 Triple Crown victor, and only the second to win the all three American Classics - Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes - in the past 40 years (American Pharoah, 2015).

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