Justify Justifies Hype With Kentucky Derby Win

'Special' horse becomes first to win Derby not racing as 2-year-old in 136 years.

Justify #7 with Mike Smith up wins the 144th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images)
Justify #7 with Mike Smith up wins the 144th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images)

History is being made at a full gallop.

Justify went into Saturday’s Kentucky Derby as the favorite, and trotted out as both the winner and the horse that snapped a 136-year-old curse. As The New York Times points out, the first-place finish marked the first time since 1882 that a horse that didn’t race at the age of 2 won the Derby.

But the undefeated Justify clearly didn’t need that year worth of experience and isn’t just any other horse, as he proved on a muddy track Saturday at Churchill Downs. Fighting off the rain and fending off runner-up Good Magic, jockey Mike Smith rode the horse to win the 144th Kentucky Derby by two and a half lengths.

“I’ve seen all kinds, I mean this guy, he’s just special,” trainer Bob Baffert said of Justify. “He has that presence about him.”

The buzz is now building for the horse as a threat to win the Triple Crown, to become the first since Baffert’s American Pharoah managed to become the first horse to do so in 37 years. Then again, Justify is becoming used to breaking records.

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