Sports

Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Justify finished a final workout at Churchill Downs Monday in preparation for the Belmont Stakes and pursuit of a Triple Crown.

Trainer Bob Baffert watched the colt complete his workout with jockey Martin Garcia. Jockey Mike Smith will be back aboard Justify in the Belmont.

Justify galloped with about 100 spectators watching on the Churchill Downs front stretch and just as many on the backside.

Baffert said the horse is relaxed, the workout was smooth and “all seems good.”

Justify aims to follow American Pharoah’s 2015 Triple Crown triumph with Baffert and become the 13th horse to win the Derby, Preakness and Belmont.

Baffert said excitement about another Triple Crown contender has been building.

“You can tell it at the airports. When I’m going through the airports, people, complete strangers telling me ‘good luck in the Belmont,’ he said. “I think it brings a lot of people to the game, to the sport.”

Baffert said if Justify gets off to a good start, he likes his colt’s chances of outrunning the competition in the Belmont, the longest of the three Triple Crown races.

“We were talking about it. He couldn’t win the Derby because he was lightly raced, now he can’t win the Belmont because he’s raced too much,” Baffert joked. “There’s always something. I think he’s seasoned now and he should be up for it.”

The colt will leave Wednesday for New York.

Post time for the Belmont Stakes is 6:37 p.m. Saturday.

Rick Howlett is WFPL's Broadcast Editor and also produces feature and general assignment radio stories.