Justify Wins the Kentucky Derby

GTY Rob Carr
Getty Images/Rob Carr

Justify won the Kentucky Derby convincingly on Saturday. Not only that, the horse also became the first in 136 years to win the Derby after not racing as a two-year-old.

According to USA Today:

Justify, the Bob Baffert trainee with just three career starts heading into the Kentucky Derby, powered through the slop to win powerfully by 2 1/2 lengths over Good Magic on a sloppy track at Churchill Downs. Audible finished third.

Not only did Justify remain unbeaten at 4-for-4, but he became the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Derby without racing as a 2-year-old. Justify becomes the sixth consecutive favorite to win the Derby.

Getting a clean break from the No. 7 post position, Justify pressed a very fast pace through a half-mile in 45.77 seconds. But he had plenty in reserve, taking the lead with a half-mile to go over Promises Fulfilled, then shaking off a rally from Good Magic at the quarter pole. At the end, it was never in doubt.

Justify gives Baffert, who also trained 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, his fifth Kentucky Derby victory.

Jockey Mike Smith, at age 52, won his second Derby and first since 2005.

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn

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