Triple Crown Contender: Why Justify will win the 2018 Preakness Stakes


May 7th 2018 – Updated May 13th 2018

For all the fans of the “Curse of Apollo” breakerĀ Justify, I am already calling the 143rd Preakness Stakes another victory for the Bob Baffert-trained colt. Looking over the rumored entries, I see no colt that poses a serious threat. Currently, the list of rumored entries include:

Good Magic – Kentucky Derby Runner-Up
Bravazo – 6th in the Kentucky Derby
Lone Sailor – 8th in the Kentucky Derby
Quip – Arkansas Derby Runner-Up
Tenfold – 5th in the Arkansas Derby
GivemeaminitĀ – 3rd in the Pat Day Mile
Sporting ChanceĀ – 4th in the Pat Day Mile
Diamond King – Federico Tesio Stakes Winner

Justify has proven that he can win on a dry, fast track and in the slop. Four career starts, all earning 100+ Beyer Speed Figures. He was awarded a 103 Beyer Speed Figure for the Kentucky Derby. Below are the only 3-year-olds with a 100+ Beyer Speed Figures in races longer than one mile.

Justify – 107 – Santa Anita Derby – 9 furlongs
Mendelssohn – 106 – UAE Derby – 1900 Meters
Justify – 103 – Kentucky Derby – 10 furlongs
Bolt d’Oro – 102 – Santa Anita Derby – 9 furlong
McKinzie – 101 – San Felipe Staaks – 8 1/2 furlongss
Bolt d’Oro – 101 – San Felipe Stakes – 8 1/2 furlongs

I will be monitoring the Preakness Stakes news and rumored entries closely in preparation for a preview of the race which is just 12 days away. But right now, I’d give Justify early 4/5 odds as the race favorite. A victory in the Preakness Stakes will give the sport what has needed the past couple of years, a Triple Crown contender entering the Belmont Stakes. A victory at Belmont seems to be a much taller task against a colt such as the Todd Pletcher-trained colt Vino Rosso who will be rested up for the last leg of the Triple Crown. Pletcher has won the Belmont Stakes three times (2007, 2013, 2017) vs Bob Baffert’s two (2001, 2015).