WheelsUp to sponsor Justify, Mike Smith for Belmont Stakes

Grant SmithJun 07, 2018

Now he enters the $1.5m race at Belmont Park as America's next great equine sensation, looking to join a famous roll of thoroughbreds to capture the Triple Crown that includes Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978) and American Pharoah (2015).

The 10-horse field was revealed at the draw for post positions.

Justify, who previously won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, is one win away from becoming the second Triple Crown victor in the last four decades. Hofburg, who is trained by the Hall of Famer Bill Mott, drew Post 4 and was made the second choice at 9-2.

Justify stays undefeated at the Kentucky Derby, breaking the 136-year-old Curse of Apollo. Bravazo finished sixth and Vino Rosso ran ninth in the Kentucky Derby.

Baffert is seeking a second Triple Crown victory in four years.

The deals for American Pharoah and this one for justify were brokered by New York-based sponsorship firm Leverage Agency. The Kentucky Derby's 17th-place finisher is at 9-1.

Wearing a Mets jersey with his name on the back, Baffert tossed out a ceremonial first pitch at Citi Field before the Mets hosted the Orioles.

"One of these horses or two maybe has to run a little bit better than you would expect them to, mine included (to win)", Lukas said.

The only other horse at shorter odds than 12-1 in the morning-line odds is Noble Indy. He and teammate Tom Brady have wagered together at the Derby in past years. He got sick and missed the Derby and has been waiting to make his US debut in the grueling Belmont.

"Heading into Belmont, our team is thrilled to partner with Wheels Up, America's fastest-growing private aviation company", said Elliott Walden, President and Chief Executive of WinStar Farm, who co-owns Justify with the China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, and Starlight Racing.

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