Justify Makes it Six Favorites in Kentucky Derby Win


Justify won the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby (G1) over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs on Saturday. (Photo credit: Churchill Downs).

WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, Starlight Racing and Head of Plains Partners’ favored Justify took command at the half-mile pole and roared away to a 2 ½-length victory over Good Magic under the lights at Churchill Downs to win the 144th running of the $2,192,000 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade I) for 3-year-olds on a soggy Saturday afternoon before a crowd of 157,813, the seventh largest crowd in Derby history.

Justify became the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby without racing as a 2-year-old since Apollo in 1882. He made his debut Feb. 18 and only one other Derby winner broke his maiden at a later date: Brokers Tip when he won the Derby on May 6, 1933.

He also became the second horse in the past 100 years to win the Derby with only three career starts prior to the race, joining Big Brown in 2008.

Justify gave trainer Bob Baffert his fifth Kentucky Derby victory and jockey Mike Smith his second.

Double Your First Deposit Instantly at TVG! Use coupon code SPRING during checkout. Expires 12/31/2018.

Baffert now trails only Ben Jones (six Derby wins). Baffert’s other victories came with Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), War Emblem (2002) and Triple Crown winner American Pharoah (2015).

Smith’s other Derby victory came in 2005 with Giacomo.

Starlight becomes the first Louisville ownership group to win the Derby since Old Rosebud in 1914.

2018 Kentucky Derby Replay

Promises Fulfilled led the field of 20 through the first six furlongs with fractions of :22.24, :45.77 and 1:11.01 with Justify in closest pursuit.

Approaching the half-mile pole, Smith pulled the trigger and sent Justify to the front with last year’s champion 2-year-old Good Magic taking up the chase.

Justify maintained his daylight advantage through the stretch and completed the 1 ¼ miles on a sloppy track in 2:04.20.

The victory was worth $1,432,000 and increased Justify’s earnings to $2,098,000 with an unblemished record of four wins in four starts. Justify became the first undefeated Derby winner since Nyquist in 2016 and the ninth since 1915.

Justify is a Kentucky-bred son of Scat Daddy out of the Ghostzapper mare Stage Magic.

In becoming a record-extending sixth consecutive favorite to win the Run for the Roses, Justify returned $7.80, $6 and $4.40. Good Magic, ridden by Jose Ortiz, returned $9.20 and $6.60 and finished a head in front of Audible, who paid $5.80 to show under Javier Castellano.

Instilled Regard rallied to finish another 1 ¾ lengths back in fourth and was followed in order by My Boy Jack, Bravazo, Hofburg, Lone Sailor, Vino Rosso, Solomini, Firenze Fire, Bolt d’Oro, Flameaway, Enticed, Promises Fulfilled, Free Drop Billy, Noble Indy, Combatant, Magnum Moon and Mendelssohn.


# HORSE            JOCKEY          TRAINER    WIN $    PLACE $    SHOW $
7 Justify              M. Smith           B. Baffert     7.80         6.00             4.40
6 Good Magic    J. Ortiz               C. Brown                     9.20             6.60
5 Audible            J. Castellano     T. Pletcher                                      5.80

Pay offs:

$2.00 Exacta (7-6) Paid: $69.60

$.50 Trifecta (7-6-5) Paid: $70.70

$1.00 Superfecta (7-6-5-15) Paid: $19,618.20

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll

No. Horse Points
1 Flightline 351
2 Life Is Good 306
3 Olympiad 292
4 Jackie's Warrior 282
5 Clairiere 142
5 Country Grammer 142
7 Epicenter 121
8 Regal Glory 89
9 Nest 87
10 Hot Rod Charlie 48
As of August 1, 2022

DRF Past Performances

Check out the most powerful
interactive Past Performances
used by Michael Dempsey. Use the code TENOFF19 which gives
you a 10% discount on any DRF Formulator plan that is one month or longer.


Free Horse Racing Picks

Get free horse racing picks each day from expert race handicapper Michael Dempsey Click Here

Belmont Stakes News & Reports
Breeders' Cup
Turf ‘n’ Sport handicapper Michael Dempsey has the Belmont Stakes covered with his selections, analysis and fair odds for every race on the card!
Wager on the Belmont Stakes
Belmont Stakes News

Belmont Stakes Reports

Horse Racing Betting Tips

Horse Racing Betting Tips
Turf 'n' Sport handicappers give out basic horse racing handicapping information..