“The great ones, they just find another gear,” Justify’s trainer, Bob Baffert, said, adding, “If he was great, he’s going to do it, and that’s what it’s about.”
After the race, Smith and Justify went off, around the clubhouse turn, to have a quiet moment. Smith, who had earned the nickname Big Money Mike but had never won horse racing’s most coveted prize, was moved to tears. How did he land this horse, who did not race as a 2-year-old, who rattled off six straight victories in about four months, who carried Smith beyond even his wildest dreams?
But Smith had to gather himself because he wanted to bring Justify back to the fans, who stood and cheered and snapped pictures as he took a victory lap past the expansive Belmont Park grandstand.