The combination of WinStar Farm, China Horse Club and other partners may have different ideas for Justify's return race, assuming there is one.
That set up a familiar drama for the 1 ½-mile Belmont.
It's been baked dry by sunny skies and 80-degree weather.
Hard conditions challenged Justify nearly as much as the competition he faced in the opening two legs.
How Much Does the Belmont Stakes Winner Get?
The purse for the race is $1.5 million.
But one of the biggest surprises of the race came when Gronkowski (the horse) finished in second place.
Justify will be trying to become thoroughbred racing's 13th Triple Crown victor. He did so with American Pharoah in 2015, ending a 37-year drought. And then winning the Belmont it's like you finally reached the summit.
Also. what's your favorite @jtimberlake album? Baffert was asked throughout, and by the Belmont, he believed the answer was yes.
The Hall of Fame trainer won the $400,000 Brooklyn Invitational with Hoppertunity.
Several weeks later he competed in the second leg of the three-race trilogy, The Preakness, and won in dominant fashion despite heavy rain and mud slowing the field down.
"Yeah, I belong now", said Smith, who ripped carnations from the garland of flowers draped on Justify after the race and tossed them in the air to celebrate.
Of course, the race that Baffert and Smith really want to win is the Belmont Stakes.
Smith was all smiles as he and Justify trotted their way to the winner's circle.
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When owners and trainers want someone to get their mounts to the wire first, it's not surprising they turn to Smith.
The 52-year-old jockey knows the sprawling track and its sweeping turns well, having been the leading rider in NY from 1991 to '92.m.
The white mane of Justify trainer Bob Baffert, horse whisperer to the stars, is now known the world over.
With his Triple Crown victory Saturday, Justify became the most valuable horse in racing history.
Justify defied all the odds on his way to achieving Triple Crown immortality.
Coming so close to American Pharoah's Triple Crown has its advantages.
Justify improved to 6-0 in a racing career that only began on February 18.
"I wanted to see that horse's name up there because we know he was brilliant from Day 1", Baffert said.
The two Todd Pletcher-trained racers, Vino Rosso (+900) and Noble Indy (+2800), will break side-by-side from gates 8 and 9 respectively.