Belmont Stakes 2018: Results, payouts, order of finish

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He trained American Pharoah in 2015 when the horse won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes in Baltimore and Belmont Stakes in NY after a 37-year Triple Crown dry spell for thoroughbred horse racing.

Justify is only the second horse since 1978 to earn the Triple Crown, widely considered the greatest accomplishment in thoroughbred racing, which comes from winning three high-profile US races: the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.

After racing in WinStar Farm colors in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, Justify bore the red and yellow of China Horse Club on Saturday.

Triple Crown victor Justify led all the way at Saturday's Belmont Stakes, but controversy arose Sunday after some raised questions about the role of another horse in the victory.

Remarkably Justify is one of only two horses to have won the Triple Crown while having been undefeated in any previous race; the other is Seattle Slew who feature's in the pedigree of Justify through his dam Stage Magic. He's 5-for-5 in a career that did not begin until February 18 of this year. Two weeks later, he survived a challenge in the fog-shrouded Preakness, winning by a half-length, again in the slop to set up a Triple Crown try.

The season-ending Breeders' Cup world championships are in Louisville on November 2-3.

After leading American Pharaoh to the the Triple Crown in 2015, snapping that 37-year-old drought, Baffert called his prize horse "the greatest horse I'll ever see".

Smith said Justify was so calm in the gate that he was anxious he might not break.

If Justify succeeds in sweeping the Triple Crown just three years after American Pharoah, it wouldn't be the first time it has happened close together.

Prior to his victory, the thoroughbred had a flawless 5-0 record in his brief career and had won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. Baffert, 65, had less than a year to train Justify who suffered a minor injury and didn't race his second year.

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ESPN's Darren Rovell reported before the Belmont that Justify's stud rights had been sold to Irish-based Coolmore for $60 million, with a $15 million bonus if he won the Triple Crown. "Now we can take a deep breath and just see how the horse is".

While it's nice to see a Triple Crown victor, it's hardly profitable for bettors.

Save for a news helicopter circling during training hours, the scene was as mellow as could be - three years between Triple Crown attempts will have such an effect.

Baffert told NBC Sports: "It's just incredible".

Jockey Mike Smith, 52, is the second-oldest Kentucky Derby victor behind Bill Shoemaker.

One owner believes that there was something suspicious about how the race was handled by Restoring Hope, a stablemate of Justify's, with both horses trained by Bob Baffert.

"I actually thought maybe he's not going to break today".

The first horse to load in the gate, Justify stayed so still and steady as the other nine followed suit that Smith anxious for a moment that he might not break at all.

John Velazquez, who finished in fourth place on Vino Rosso, also saw the move as questionable.

Gronkowski, named for and partly owned by the New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, returned $13.80 and $7. He took his hand away to give Justify a periodic breath, then gave him a squeeze when he wanted more.

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