Lady and The Track | January 26, 2022

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Home » Kentucky Derby » Justify Defies, Makes History In Kentucky Derby 144

Justify Defies, Makes History In Kentucky Derby 144

Colt Breaks Curse Of Apollo Giving Trainer Bob Baffert A Fifth Derby WInner

By Margaret Ransom

Justify wins Kentucky Derby 144 under Mike Smith in the pouring rain, 5/5/18. Photo: Jordan Thomson

For such a highly regarded Kentucky Derby (G1) favorite, WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners and Starlight Racing’s Justify sure had a lot of people asking a lot of questions about whether he was up to the task. Was he too lightly raced? Would the Curse of Apollo defeat him? Would he ship successfully? Could he get the distance?

And seemingly without even taking a deep breath, the flashy chestnut son of Scat Daddy answered them all and then some, adding an exclamation point for good measure with his impressive victory by 2 ½ lengths in the 144th running of the storied race held Saturday at Churchill Downs.

Under his regular pilot, Hall of Famer Mike Smith, the Bob Baffert-trained colt beat a talented field of 19 other sophomores, some call the best assembled under the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs in years.

“He just put himself up there with the greats,” Baffert said. “It takes a horse, you know, like American Pharoah. We knew he was… (more)