Derby champ Justify to start Preakness from No

Aubrey Yates
May 18, 2018

In the aftermath of Justify's dominating triumph in the Kentucky Derby, the undefeated colt's name has been mentioned in the same breath as 2015 Triple Crown champion American Pharoah. Baffert's four other Derby winners - Silver Charm, Real Quiet, War Emblem and American Pharoah - were all victorious two weeks later in Baltimore. "He's ready to do a lot more, but we just didn't want him to do too much". And [Justify] is pretty fit. So with only Lone Sailor to worry about in the final furlong, Smith can just give Justify his head and let him use his pure speed to run all the others into the ground. I can't see either one doing it at 1 3/16 miles. "Now, he just needs to do it, but you still need racing luck". "I don't want to run any faster, just keeping at that same level". Often, speed can be even tougher on wet tracks.

From there, I'll spend $24 on a superfecta box: Justify, Good Magic, Quip (12-1) and Lone Sailor (15-1).

That being said, the second leg of the Triple Crown is entrenched in rich history as well. If he wins this race and goes on to take the Belmont on June 9, you've got a Triple Crown keepsake. "I really, really need a raincoat", Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows sang in the band's moody 1993 ballad "Raining In Baltimore". "I don't like being 50-1. That's the best Kentucky Derby-winning performance that I've brought up here". But we're skipping those as well - the bets would have to be made as the action is unfolding Saturday, while assessing track conditions in what's expected to be another very soggy day of racing. Accuweather.com forecasts a 43 percent chance of rain starting at 11 a.m.

Justify became the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Kentucky Derby without racing as a 2-year-old.

"This track can probably take more water than any track I've ever seen", the Hall of Fame trainer said. Sometimes they don't run well, but I have a lot of faith in him.

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"There is a big difference when you are riding with pressure when you are the favorite".

The victory was Baffert's fifth at the Kentucky Derby and moved the La Cañada Flintridge resident into second place all time, just one win behind Ben Jones, who set the record in the 1940s. Good Magic is the clear second choice in the Preakness and won't offer much value in the wagering, but Bravazo seems to be overlooked a bit despite finishing a solid sixth with a very wide trip in the Kentucky Derby. And a year ago Senior Investment finished third at 31-1 (with Cloud Computing the upset victor at 13-1). The four most recent "new shooters" to accomplish the feat were Red Bullet (2000), Bernardini (2006), Rachel Alexandra (2009) and Cloud Computing (2017).

So, in the three instances in the past 58 years when a Derby runner-up won the Preakness, a different strategy was used. Sporting Chance finished fourth in the Grade III Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs by eight lengths. Justify has done so much in such a short time. You run the floats over and it'll pack it down, and it will keep a good bottom to it. If a similar bomb shot hits the board this year - especially behind a Justify/Good Magic exacta, which we would have as well - the trifecta gets better.

I'm giving Derby runner-up Good Magic one more chance to turn the tables on Justify.

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