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Home / Sports / Triple Crown winner Justify leaves the race with a perfect record

Triple Crown winner Justify leaves the race with a perfect record



DEL MAR, California (AP) – Triple crown winner Justify was pulled out of the race on Wednesday for fluid retention in his left forefoot.

Coach Bob Baffert and Justify's owners said caution about the horse's ankle condition made it impossible to tell if he would be healthy enough to drive through the fall.

"He just does not react fast enough for an autumn campaign," Baffert said. "We all wanted to see Justify walking again, but ultimately it's my responsibility to make sure he's perfect, and without 60-90 days I can not be sure."

The goal was that Justify will launch in a major race this summer, probably in the Travers Stakes in Saratoga, and on November 3 in the Churchill Downs will be pointed to the $ 5 million Breeders' Cup Classic. Instead, he was withdrawn earlier this month due to swelling in his ankle.

"The timing is bad for another start in 2018, so we need to retire it," said Elliott Walden of WinStar Farm , the co-folder reasoning. "Like (2015 Triple Crown winner) American Pharoah, we can not risk running Justify as a 4-year-old, we all wanted him to finish his career in the Breeders' Cup Classic, but it should not be "

Justify won all six career starts and became the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to conquer the Kentucky Derby after not racing as a 2-year-old. He won the Preakness and Belmont Stakes to win the 13th Triple Crown winner and the second in the last four years for Baffert's American Pharoah.

"There was never a time when I rode it, that I felt like I was being beaten," said jockey Mike Smith. "There was no horse that could run with him without sacrificing himself, and there was no horse that could bring him."

In addition to the Triple Crown, Kentucky-based Justify won the Santa Anita Derby and retires with a career gain of nearly $ 3.8 million.

"It was a great trip for all of us, and I am absolutely confident that Bob will do the right thing with Justify," said Teo Ah Khing of the China Horse Club, which is also a co-owner.

Walden said it was possible that Justify's stud rights would be sold to Coolmore, but added that this would happen later , Justify is expected to return to WinStar Farm in Kentucky next month.

"Justify's exceptional racing career – from maiden voyage to the Triple Crown winner in less than four months – was as brilliant as our sport," said National Thoroughbred Racing Association President and CEO Alex Waldrop. "We can not wait for his first runners to reach the track in 2022."

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