The Bob Baffert trained Justify continues his bid for history in three weeks after a hard fought victory on Saturday in the 143rd running of the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico.
As we saw in Louisville, the colt can handle a wet track, and after battling head to head with Derby runner up Good Magic, he disposed of that rival and held on to win by a half-length over the late running Bravazo.
The winner stopped the timer in 1:55.93 over a sloppy sealed racetrack and returned $2.80 to win. The victory was Bafert’s seventh Preakness win, tying him with R. Wyndham Walden, who last visited the Pimlico winner’s circle in 1888.
Third Jewel is Next
Now it is on to Belmont Park on June 9 for the Belmont Stakes (G1) and the chance to become the 13th Triple Crown winner in history.
The surprise of the race was who Justify had for company in the early going, with Good Magic pressing the pace.
“Somebody had to give, and I’m glad it wasn’t us. He had to really work for it,” Baffert told Jeremy Balan of Bloodhorse.“Good Magic, I tip my (hat) to him. He made us really work. He’s a really good horse.”
Good Magic trainer Chad Brown was surprised himself about the tactics of his jockey Jose Ortiz.
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“I didn’t want the horse on the lead,” trainer Chad Brown said. “I’m disappointed with the trip.”
Ortiz took blame for his ride. Last year’s Eclipse Award winning jockey told David Grening of The Daily Racing Form, “I messed up, that wasn’t the plan we drew. I wasn’t supposed to be where I was.”
2018 Preakness Stakes Replay
Runner up Bravazo was saddled by Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who has six Preakness victories in his career.
Trainer Steve Asmussen, who has a pair of Preakness wins saddled third place finisher Tenfold, who was making just his fourth career start and second in stakes company.
Completing the order of finish were Good Magic, Lone Sailor, Sporting Chance, Diamond King and Quip.
Results for 143rd Preakness Stakes
7 Justify $2.80 $2.80 $2.60
8 Bravazo $7.80 $4.80
6 Tenfold $6.80
$2 Daily Double BE Susan/Preak 4-7 13.20
$1 Daily Double 8-7 2.30
$1 Exacta 7-8 13.70
$1 Superfecta 7-8-6-5 372.50
$1 Super High Five 7-8-6-5-2 1,370.20
$1 Trifecta 7-8-6 148.30