Stronach says they have fingers crossed and are "still hoping there are gaps in the weather, especially during the race". But in terms of the $2 exacta, $1 trifecta and $1 superfecta, which dished out $69.60, $141.40 and $19,618.20 for the Kentucky Derby, respectively, the totals weren't as eye-popping from the Preakness Stakes.
The strong showing expected from Justify energizes this year's talk of a Triple Crown victor. Those will only continue assuming Justify is good to go for the Belmont in three weeks.
Baffert has never lost the middle jewel of the Triple Crown after winning the Derby with Silver Charm, Real Quiet (1998), War Emblem (2002), American Pharoah (2015) and now Justify having done the double. "They tested his fitness today", Smith said after his second Preakness win and first since 1993.
The chestnut colt trained by Bob Baffert and rode by Mike Smith galloped to his fifth victory in five tries in an all-enveloping fog without precedent at Pimlico to keep alive his bid for one of the rarest feats in all of sports.
"Right now, I don't see why not", Baffert said.
The last Triple Crown victor was American Pharoah in 2015, also saddled by 65-year-old Baffert who has won the Preakness Stakes six times, including with all four of his previous Kentucky Derby winners: Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), War Emblem (2002) and American Pharoah (2015).
"Those horses were dominant in the Derby over the rest of the field, and the Preakness typically plays toward how the Derby plays".
The weather also brought back memories of 2015, when a sudden deluge at post time made the race hard to watch.
The superstar horse is drawing plenty of comparisons to American Pharoah. "He's been running every three weeks". But he looks good. "The main thing is that you have a good horse". That's what makes him so great. Earlier this week, he told TMZ that Justify is a "superior" animal to American Pharoah. Good Magic pressed Justify so much, the Derby runner-up faded near the end of the 1 3/16-mile race and fell out of the money for the first time in his career. We're going to have day in and day out racing there and those improvements needed to come whether the Preakness was moved or not. The horse was able to overcome injury prior to the Preakness, and hopefully will not have to do the same before the Belmont.