Justify isn’t done just yet.
The 2018 Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown winner will take a well-earned sabbatical before racing again this year, according to ESPN.com.
“Our focus was on each race as they came up,” Elliot Walden of WinStar Farm said after Justify’s Triple Crown Banner was unveiled Sunday. “Now we can take a deep breath and just see how the horse is.”
Justify is coming off a grueling schedule, winning six races in 111 days. He became the 13th Triple Crown winner of all time and the second horse to accomplish the feat since 1978.
So what are the races Justify could participate in? Three options are the $1 million Haskell Invitational on July 29 at New Jersey’s Monmouth Park, the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 18 at Del Mar and the $1.25 million Travers on Aug. 25 at Saratoga.
For now, Justify will head back to Churchill Downs in Kentucky Monday, then will travel back to trainer Bob Baffert’s Southern California ranch June 17.
“It’s been the longest, quickest journey,” Baffert said Sunday. “We were in the office watching the replay over and over. He’s just an unbelievable horse. We’re just so proud of him. We thought he was that kind of horse, but they have to prove it.”
Justify’s Triple Crown is an amazing accomplishment for Baffert, who also trained American Pharoah — the 2015 Triple Crown winner.