ELMONT, NY - JUNE 09: - Justify #1 with Mike Smith wins the 150th Belmont Stakes, becoming the 13 Triple Crown champion at Belmont Park on June 09, 2018 in Elmont, New York. (Photo by Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images)

Justify takes home 13th ever Triple Crown – in a way that makes him unique among the unique

Author: Mats Genberg Photo: Alex Evers / Getty Images

Until June 9 it had only happened 12 times in history. Last time was with American Pharaoh in 2015 and before that there was a 37 year gap from when Affirmed won in 1978.
That’s when Justify decided to break all rules and just do what couldn’t be done. In a way that it couldn’t be done.

The road to win the Triple Crown is said to start with winning the first of the three races – The Kentucky Derby. But the truth is that the first, and biggest obstacle, is to get to run in The Derby in the first place. As the Triple Crown races are only open to 3-year olds, horses normally have to start to show quality as 2-year olds in order to get to participate in the races that earn them points that can earn them a place in The Derby.
Justify didn’t win as a 2-year old. He didn’t even race last year. His first race was on February 18, just three months before he won the Derby. He won that race. And has won every one of his races since then. But his biggest achievement is not only that he won all the three races. It’s the facts behind him that makes him stand out even among Triple Crown winners.

Here are some facts that make Justify unique among the unique.


Justify is the first horse since 1882 to win The Triple Crown without having raced as a 2-year old.

Justify is the second horse in history to win The Triple Crown without having lost a single race in its career (The first was Seattle Slew)

Justify was ridden by Mike Smith, 52. The oldest jockey ever to win The Triple Crown.

Justify is trained by Bob Baffert who also trained American Pharoa who won in 2015. Buffert is the second trainer ever to have trained two Triple Crown winners. The first was Jim Fitzsimmons in 1930 (Gallant Fox) and 1935 (Omaha).

Justify was bred by John Gunther at the family run Glenwood Farm. John also bred his dam – Stage Magic

Justify sire – Scat Daddy – had a breeding fee of only $35.000.

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