Many horse racing fans are wondering if Justify can make history by wining the Triple Crown. According to OddsShark, Vegas is giving Justify 7 to 5 odds (+140) to win the Triple Crown, and 37 to 20 odds (-185) to come up short. These odds are sure to go up if Justify is able to win the Preakness Stakes, leaving the horse just the Belmont to win to pull off the trifecta.
Justify entered the Preakness as a favorite to win with 4 to 9 odds (-225). The horse is a strong favorite in a small field of seven other horses. If Justify can win the Preakness Stakes, there would be a lot of intrigue in the Belmont with a Triple Crown on the line. American Pharoah was the last horse to win the Triple Crown in 2015, but there had been a 37 year drought prior to the horse completing the historic feat.
There had been some concern heading into the race over Justify’s injury, and how it could potentially derail any hopes of a Preakness win. According to CBS Sports, Justify was given a patch for a bruised hind leg after the Kentucky Derby. CBS Sports Hank Goldberg noted there could be concern over the injury.
“It looked like his two hind legs were a little out of sync,” Goldberg noted on CBS Sports. “He might have a quarter crack and they put a patch over it, but a quarter crack could cause an infection. It would feel like his hoof is in a pressure cooker if he ran in the slop and got something lodged underneath it. There’s enough suspicion there.”
Goldberg later noted Justify looked in top form in his Thursday run at Pimlico, and explained fans should not be too concerned about Justify not being 100 percent.
“Nobody gets a horse ready after a two-week layoff than Bob Baffert,” Goldberg explained on CBS Sports. “I trust Baffert implicitly. He’s not worried about it. He wouldn’t risk the horse if it were something serious.”
Baffert clarified to Business Insider that Justify had sustained a cracked heel, but believes it will not impact the horse at the Preakness.
“We were treating it for a cracked heel, but it never developed because we didn’t let it develop,” Baffert told Business Insider. “It’s all behind us, and we’re on to Baltimore.”
Baffert doubled down on his confidence in an interview with The Action Network.
“When I tell you the horse is ready to go, he’s ready to go,” Baffert explained to The Action Network (via Business Insider). “I’ll see you in New York.”
Baffert was the trainer for the last Triple Crown winner, and has not tried to squash the comparisons to American Pharoah. In some ways, Justify is farther along than American Pharoah was at this stage of his career, given the horse did not race as a two-year-old.
“He’s been running. This is going to be his fifth race,” Baffert told Horse Racing Nation. “He’s been running every three weeks. He’s had a tough schedule. But he looks good. Flesh-wise, he looks healthy. The main thing is, he’s a really good horse. That’s what makes him so great. He’s a superior horse, just like American Pharoah. What he’s done in that short 75 days to win the Kentucky Derby, to go, go, go, – and he ran with some good horses – he makes my job a lot easier.”
Source: Heavy Sports