Undefeated Triple Crown Winner Justify Retired From Racing

Trainer Bob Baffert said Justify had some filling in his fetlock and is not responding quick enough to prepare for a fall campaign. The colt will parade at Del Mar on July 28, before traveling to WinStar Farm, in Kentucky.
justify

Justify, undefeated winner of the 2018 Triple Crown, has been retired from racing, it was announced today.

“Justify had some filling in his ankle, and he is just not responding quick enough for a fall campaign,” said trainer Bob Baffert. “We all wanted to see Justify run again, but ultimately it is my responsibility to make sure he is perfect. Without 60-90 days, I can’t be definite.”

Campaigned by WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners LLC, and Starlight Racing, Justify dazzled at first asking on Feb. 18, winning his career debut at Santa Anita and proceeded to accomplish many historical feats en route to racing stardom. He broke the “Curse of Apollo” when he won the Kentucky Derby by 2 1/2 lengths on May 5, becoming the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Derby without starting as a 2-year-old.

“He is an incredible horse and we are very disappointed he can’t run again,” said WinStar Farm’s Kenny Troutt. “All things happen for a reason, and we are blessed to have raced him to be the 13th Triple Crown winner in history.”

Justify went on to capture the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico under the foggiest conditions the race has ever seen. He was pressured every step of the way and fended off all challengers for the wire-to-wire victory.

“When he won the Preakness, I allowed myself to start dreaming about the Triple Crown,” said Troutt. “When we look back on this, we have been a part of an undefeated Triple Crown Champion, and hopefully a Horse of the Year.”

Justify went to New York in pursuit of history in the Belmont Stakes. Sent to the lead by his Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith, Justify never looked back, winning the Belmont by 1 ¾ lengths, becoming the first undefeated Triple Crown winner since Seattle Slew.

“Like everyone else, I am disappointed he won’t run again, but I am thankful he came into my life,” Smith said. “There was never a time when I rode him that I felt like I was going to get beat. There was no horse who could run with him without sacrificing themselves, and there was no horse who could come get him. He truly is a gift from God.”

Justify provided racing international exposure through the Triple Crown, winning the Belmont Stakes in China Horse Club’s red and yellow colors after taking the Derby and Preakness in WinStar’s silks.

“To win the Triple Crown is an amazing accomplishment,” said China Horse Club’s Teo Ah Khing. “The history of the Triple Crown and the difficulty of winning the three legs is not something I take lightly. It has been a great ride for all of us, and I have complete confidence Bob is doing the right thing by Justify.”

Justify will return to WinStar Farm, near Lexington, Kentucky, early next month. He won all six of his career starts, amassing earnings of $3,798,000. In addition to his Classic wins, Justify also won the Santa Anita Derby. Bred in Kentucky by John Gunther, the son of Scat Daddy—Stage Magic, by Ghostzapper was purchased by China Horse Club and Maverick Racing for $500,000 out of the Glennwood Farm consignment at the 2016 Keeneland September sale.

“The timing is bad for another start in 2018, and therefore, we have to retire him,” said WinStar Farm’s Elliott Walden. “Like American Pharoah, we can’t take the risk of running Justify as a four-year-old. We all wanted him to finish his career in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, but it was not meant to be. As has been reported, there is a possible sale to Coolmore in place, but that won’t be finalized until a later date. We are excited to share him with our fans starting the middle of August after he gets acclimated.”

Justify will also parade at Del Mar on Saturday, July 28, before traveling to WinStar.

“The parade at Del Mar will be a great opportunity for the fans in the San Diego area to come out and see him,” said Baffert.

Late Pick Five Payouts Carry Rich “Bonus” at Del Mar

One of Del Mar’s new bets this summer – the .50¢ late Pick Five on the day’s final five races – has had a healthy bonus factor tied to it that might provide a racing fan with a million-dollar payoff when the seaside oval gets off and running for its 79th summer this Wednesday.

The wager will provide for a “bonus” $1-million payout on Saturdays and Sundays – or a “bonus” $500,000 payout on weekdays – to any fan holding the lone winning ticket on the exotic bet.

Del Mar had introduced the single ticket “jackpot” concept to its Pick Six bet in the fall of 2016 which led to some life-changing payouts on that wager. The Late Pick Five “bonus” bet, while not quite the same, also carries the potential for powerhouse payoffs.

The bet ensures a minimum payout of $1-million (weekends) or $500,000 (weekdays) to a lone ticket holder. So in the scenario where a fan is the only one to tab the last five winners on a Saturday and the late Pick Five payout amounted to $650,000, Del Mar would pony up an additional $350,000 to make the $1-million “bonus” payout prove true. A similar scenario could unfold during the week where Del Mar might add extra monies to the payout to assure a minimum $500,000 prize is reached by a lucky single ticket holder.

Closing day at the meet – Labor Day Monday, September 3 – will be treated as a weekend day and a $1-million late Pick Five “bonus” will be in effect that afternoon.

“When we announced them several weeks ago, we got very positive responses to the addition of our new bets for this season, including the late Pick Five,” said Del Mar’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer Craig Dado. “The addition of this “bonus” money to that bet is just going to make a good thing even better.”

Besides the late Pick Five, Del Mar also will feature this summer a new early .50¢ Pick Four starting on Race 2 each day and a $2 Win, Place, Show Parlay bet available for a minimum of two, and a maximum of six, races.

The single ticket “jackpot” bet on the Pick Six once again will be in play throughout the 36-day stand. Last summer a single ticket holder cashed in for $603,613.80 on the wager on August 2.

Racing will be held on a Wednesday through Sunday basis throughout the summer. First post is 2 p.m. for all days but Friday when they’ll be off and running at 4 p.m.

HASTINGS – EMERALD DOWNS REMAINING STAKES SCHEDULES

PATTI TUBBS PHOTO
July 22nd Washington Oaks 3F 9F  $         50,000.00 EMD
July 29th Muckleshoot Derby 3 9f  $         50,000.00 EMD
Aug 6th BC Cup Classic 3+ 9F  $         50,000.00 HST
Aug 6th BC Cup Distaff 3+FM 8.5F  $         50,000.00 HST
Aug 6th BC Cup Nursery 2 6.5F  $         50,000.00 HST
Aug 6th BC Cup Debutante 2F 6.5F  $         50,000.00 HST
Aug 6th BC Cup Winston Churchill Derby Trial 3 8.5F  $         50,000.00 HST
Aug 6th BC Cup Hong Kong Jockey Club 3F 8.5F  $         50,000.00 HST
Aug 6th BC CUP Marathon (BC BRED) 3+ 11F  $         20,000.00 HST
Aug 12th Barbara Shinpoch Stake 2F 6F  $         50,000.00 EMD
Aug 12th WTBOA Lads Stake 2 C&G 6F  $         50,000.00 EMD
Aug 12th Emerald Distaff 3+F&M 9F  $         50,000.00 EMD
Aug 12th Longacres Mile 3+ 8F  $       200,000.00 EMD
Aug 24th CTHS SALES STAKE 2 6.5F  $         50,000.00 HST
Aug 24th CTHS SALES STAKE 2F 6.5F  $         50,000.00 HST
Aug 24th CTHS SALES STAKE 3&4yo 8.5F  $         50,000.00 HST
Aug 24th CTHS SALES STAKE 3&4yo FM 8.5F  $         50,000.00 HST
Sept 2nd Wa Cup Juvenile Filly Stake 2F 6.5F  $         50,000.00 EMD
Sept 2nd Wa Cup Juvenile C&G Stake 2 6.5F  $         50,000.00 EMD
Sept 8th Derby 3 9f  $       150,000.00 HST
Sept 8th Oaks 3F 9f  $       100,000.00 HST
Sept 8th SW Randall Plate 3+ 9F  $         50,000.00 HST
Sept 8th Delta Colleen 3+ 9F  $         50,000.00 HST
Sept 8th Jack Diamond (Can Bred) 2 6.5F  $       100,000.00 HST
Sept 8th Sadie Diamond (Can Bred) 2F 6.5F  $       100,000.00 HST
Sept 9th Wa Cup Sophomore Filly Stake 3F 8F  $         50,000.00 EMD
Sept 9th Wa Cup Sophomore Stake 3 8F  $         50,000.00 EMD
Sept 16th Wa Cup Filly & Mare Stake 3+ F&M 8.5F  $         50,000.00 EMD
Sept 16th Muckleshoot Tribal Classic 3+ 8.5F  $         50,000.00 EMD
Sept 23rd Gottstein Futurity 2 8.5F  $         50,000.00 EMD
Sept 23rd Getaway Stake 3 8.5  $       100,000.00 EMD
Sept 29th Fantasy 2F 8.5F  $         75,000.00 HST
Sept 30th Ascot 2 8.5F  $         75,000.00 HST
Oct 8th Ballerina 3+FM 9F  $       100,000.00 HST
Oct 8th Premiers 3+ 11F  $       100,000.00 HST

DEL MAR SUMMER STAKES SCHEDULE

DATE RACE / CONDITIONS PURSE / DISTANCE
Wed. Jul. 18th OCEANSIDE STAKES
Three-year-olds, N/W S/S of $50,000 at 1 M o/o in 2018
$100,000 Added
1 Mile (Turf)
Fri. Jul. 20th Osunitas Stakes
Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up, N/W S/S $50,000 at 1 M o/o in 2018
$75,000 Added
1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
Sat. Jul. 21st SAN DIEGO HANDICAP (Gr. II)
Three-year-olds & up
$200,000 Guaranteed
1 1/16 Miles
Sat. Jul. 21st SAN CLEMENTE STAKES (Gr. II)
Fillies, Three-year-olds
$200,000 Guaranteed
1 Mile (Turf)
Sun. Jul. 22nd EDDIE READ STAKES (Gr. II)
Three-year-olds & up
$250,000 Guaranteed
1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
Sun. Jul. 22nd Wickerr Stakes
Three-year-olds & up, N/W S/S $50,000 at 1 M o/o since September 1
$75,000 Added
1 Mile (Turf)
Wed. Jul. 25th COUGAR II HANDICAP (Gr. III)
Three-year-olds & up
$100,000 Guaranteed
1 1/2 Miles
Fri. Jul. 27th REAL GOOD DEAL STAKES
Three-year-olds, Cal-Bred
$150,000 Guaranteed
7 Furlongs
Sat. Jul. 28th BC BING CROSBY STAKES (Gr. I)
Three-year-olds & up
$300,000 Guaranteed
6 Furlongs
Sat. Jul. 28th CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’ STAKES
Three-year-olds & up, Cal-Bred
$150,000 Guaranteed
1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
Sun. Jul. 29th BC CLEMENT L. HIRSCH STAKES (Gr. I)
Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up
$300,000 Guaranteed
1 1/16 Miles
Sun. Jul. 29th FLEET TREAT STAKES
Fillies, Three-year-olds, Cal-Bred
$150,000 Guaranteed
7 Furlongs
Wed. Aug. 1st CTBA STAKES
Fillies, Two-year-olds, Cal-Bred
$100,000 Guaranteed
5 1/2 Furlongs
Fri. Aug. 3rd Daisycutter Handicap
Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up
$75,000 Added
5 Furlongs (Turf)
Sat. Aug. 4th YELLOW RIBBON HANDICAP (Gr. II)
Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up
$200,000 Guaranteed
1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
Sat. Aug. 4th GRADUATION STAKES
Two-year-olds, Cal-Bred
$100,000 Guaranteed
5 1/2 Furlongs
Sun. Aug. 5th SORRENTO STAKES (GR. II)
Fillies, Two-year-olds
$200,000 Guaranteed
6 Furlongs
Sun. Aug. 5th LA JOLLA HANDICAP (Gr. III)
Three-year-olds
$150,000 Guaranteed
1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
Fri. Aug. 10th SOLANA BEACH STAKES
Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up, Cal-Bred
$150,000 Guaranteed
1 Mile (Turf)
Sat. Aug. 11th BEST PAL STAKES (Gr. II)
Two-year-olds
$200,000 Guaranteed
6 Furlongs
Sun. Aug. 12th RANCHO BERNARDO HANDICAP (Gr. III)
Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up
$100,000 Guaranteed
6 1/2 Furlongs
Wed. Aug. 15th CTT and TOC Stakes
Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up
$75,000 Added
1 3/8 Miles (Turf)
Fri. Aug. 17th Green Flash Handicap
Three-year-olds & up
$75,000 Added
5 Furlongs (Turf)
Sat. Aug. 18th BC TVG PACIFIC CLASSIC (Gr. I)
Three-year-olds & up
$1,000,000 Guaranteed
1 1/4 Miles
Sat. Aug. 18th DEL MAR OAKS (Gr. I)
Fillies, Three-year-olds
$300,000 Guaranteed
1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
Sat. Aug. 18th BC DEL MAR HANDICAP (Gr. II)
Three-year-olds & up
$250,000 Guaranteed
1 3/8 Miles (Turf)
Sun. Aug. 19th DEL MAR MILE (Gr. II)
Three-year-olds & up
$200,000 Guaranteed
1 Mile (Turf)
Wed. Aug. 22nd Harry F. Brubaker Stakes
Three-year-olds & up
$75,000 Added
1 Mile
Fri. Aug. 24th Tranquility Lake Stakes
Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up, N/W S/S $50,000 at 1 M o/o since February 1
$75,000 Added
1 Mile
Sat. Aug. 25th BC PAT O’BRIEN STAKES (Gr. II)
Three-year-olds & up
$200,000 Guaranteed
7 Furlongs
Sat. Aug. 25th SHARED BELIEF STAKES
Three-year-olds
$100,000 Guaranteed
1 Mile
Sun. Aug. 26th TORREY PINES STAKES (Gr. III)
Fillies, Three-year-olds
$100,000 Guaranteed
1 Mile
Wed. Aug. 29th GENEROUS PORTION STAKES
Fillies, Two-year-olds, Cal-Bred, N/W S/S $50,000
$100,000 Guaranteed
6 Furlongs
Fri. Aug. 31st I’M SMOKIN STAKES
Two-year-olds, Cal-Bred, N/W S/S $50,000
$100,000 Guaranteed
6 Furlongs
Sat. Sep. 1st DEL MAR DEBUTANTE (Gr. I)
Fillies, Two-year-olds
$300,000 Guaranteed
7 Furlongs
Sat. Sep. 1st JOHN C. MABEE STAKES (Gr. II)
Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up
$200,000 Guaranteed
1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
Sun. Sep. 2nd DEL MAR DERBY (Gr. II)
Three-year-olds
$250,000 Guaranteed
1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
Sun. Sep. 2nd DEL MAR JUVENILE TURF
Two-year-olds
$100,000 Guaranteed
1 Mile (Turf)
Mon. Sep. 3rd DEL MAR FUTURITY (Gr. I)
Two-year-olds
$300,000 Guaranteed
7 Furlongs
Mon. Sep. 3rd DEL MAR JUVENILE FILLIES TURF
Fillies, Two-year-olds
$100,000 Guaranteed
1 Mile (Turf)
Mon. Sep. 3rd C.E.R.F. Stakes
Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up, N/W S/S $50,000 since March 1
$75,000 Added
6 Furlongs

LOS ALAMITOS FINAL DAY WRAP-UP

APPRENTICE JOCKEYS ESPINOZA, FIGUEROA SHARE SUMMER RIDING TITLE

CYPRESS, Calif. –Class relief and a cut back in distance proved the winning formula for favored New Karma in the $17,190 feature Sunday, the final day of the Summer Thoroughbred Festival at Los Alamitos.

The come-from-behind victory for the 6-year-old Decarchy gelding had significance for apprentice jockey Heriberto Figueroa.

The win gave – for about 30 minutes – the 18-year-old native of Puerto Rico sole possession of the riding title. However, fellow apprentice Asa Espinoza, the 18-year-old nephew of Hall of Fame jockey Victor Espinoza, won the final race aboard favored Artistic Ab, so the teenagers shared the crown. Each finished with 12 victories.

Owned by Battle Born Racing Stable and Nick Ferrara, New Karma, who is out of the Snow Ridge mare Stellina, collared Fort Lewis Rivers, the pacesetter and 2-1 second choice, in the closing yards to prevail by a half-length.

The victory was the seventh in 37 starts for New Karma and he increased his earnings to $194,766. He paid $3.40, $2.20 and $2.10 after completing the five furlongs in 57.53 seconds.

Fort Lewis Rivers, who was seeking his 14th lifetime score, returned $3 and $2.80 while finishing four lengths clear of 21-1 shot Adriatic Son. The show price on Adriatic Son was $4.60.

Devils Informer, Vodka Texted You and Moose On the Loose completed the order of finish.

GRADED WINS BY MARLEY’S FREEDOM, ONCE ON WHISKEY HIGHLIGHT SUMMER MEET

Impressive graded stakes victories by Marley’s Freedom and Once On Whiskey, the continued emergence of apprentice jockeys Asa Espinoza and Heriberto Figueroa and a spectacular debut by the highly-regarded 2-year-old Instagrand highlighted Los Alamitos’ Summer Thoroughbred Festival.

The three-week season concluded Sunday, wrapping the first of three daytime meets in 2018 at Los Alamitos.

A 4-year-old daughter of Blame owned by Cicero Farms LLC, Marley’s Freedom swept past defending champion Skye Diamonds late to win the Grade II, $200,000 Great Lady M., the second graded victory in as many starts since she was transferred to the stable of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.

The manner in which Marley’s Freedom, who is 5-for-11 in her career, has won her last two starts – she romped by 7 ¼ lengths in the Grade III Desert Stormer May 27 – suggests she has the potential for the same Great Lady M.-Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint parlay that Finest City completed in 2016.

One week later, Once On Whiskey rallied late to defeat Draft Pick by a head in the Grade III, $150,000 Los Alamitos Derby, giving Baffert his third win in the race in four years. He also won with Gimme Da Lute in 2015 and eventual 3-year-old champion West Coast last year.

Figueroa, 18 and Espinoza, the 18-year-old nephew of Hall of Fame jockey Victor Espinoza, shared the riding title with 12 victories apiece. Espinoza earned the tie in the meet’s final race, scoring with favored Artistic Ab about 30 minutes had taken sole possession of the top spot with a win on favored New Karma in the eighth.

Figueroa, a native of Puerto Rico, and Figueroa, who was born in Arcadia, tied for the title in the first meet either had ridden at Los Alamitos.

Baffert won the training title, edging Steve Miyadi 5-4.

It was the sixth time Baffert has either shared or captured the title outright at Los Alamitos since daytime thoroughbred racing returned in July, 2014.

Purchased for $1.2 million at the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream sale in March, Instagrand, a son of Into Mischief, won by 10 lengths in his June 29 debut, completing five furlongs in 56 seconds while geared down late by jockey Drayden Van Dyke.

Trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer for OXO Equine LLC, Instagrand could surface in the Grade II, $200,000 Best Pal Stakes Aug. 11 at Del Mar.

F. Jack Liebau, the vice president of the Los Alamitos Racing Association, said average all sources handle increased for the Summer Thoroughbred Festival more than 4% over 2017, which was an eight-day meet.

“Comparisons between the two meets are difficult because they were of different lengths, although we did have six races cancelled (Friday, July 6 when jockeys deemed it unsafe to continue for heat-related reasons),’’ said F. Jack Liebau, vice president of the Los Alamitos Racing Association. “In hindsight, I wish we could have been able to fill some of the higher quality races, but a lot of small owners and trainers got the opportunity to successfully run horses here that they might not have otherwise.’’

Thoroughbred racing will return to Los Alamitos in September.  The 12-day Los Angeles County Fair meet will begin Thursday, Sept. 6 and continue through Sunday, Sept. 23. Racing will be conducted on a Thursday-Sunday basis.

Los Alamitos Thoroughbred Daily Results and Activity

Results

Sunday, July 15
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Maiden Claiming – $40,000 $18,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 2 Maiden Claiming – $50,000 $21,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 3 Claiming – $6,250 $12,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 4 Maiden Claiming – $20,000 $15,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 5 Claiming – $10,000 $15,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 6 Maiden Special Weight $40,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 7 Claiming – $8,000 $14,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 8 Starter Allowance – $8,000 $15,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 9 Maiden Claiming – $20,000 $15,000 Overnight Overnight

 

LOS ALAMITOS WRAP-UP FOR SATURDAY

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert continued his run of success in the Grade III Los Alamitos Derby, but not with the 3-year-old many anticipated would be in the winner’s circle late Saturday afternoon.

Once On Whiskey, a Bodemeister colt making his first start beyond seven furlongs, scored a 7-1 upset in the $150,000 race, rallying late to defeat 2-1 second choice Draft Pick by a head.

Ax Man, the 7-10 favorite trained by Baffert, was a distant third. The Patti and Hal Earnhardt-owned homebred, despite showing the way through moderate fractions, offered little resistance after being headed early in the stretch.

Ridden for the first time by jockey Flavien Prat, Once On Whiskey, who is owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.83. He paid $16.60 and $5.40. There was no show wagering.

A $150,000 purchase at the Keeneland September sale in 2016, Once On Whiskey is 2-for-4 with earnings of $140,300. He broke his maiden going seven-eighths of a mile as the 7-10 favorite March 24 at Santa Anita.

Draft Pick, who had a 1 ½ length advantage with about an eighth of a mile to run as he sought his third consecutive victory, returned $4.

The win was the third in the last four years for Baffert in the Derby. He had scored previously with Gimme Da Lute – also for Pegram, Watson and Weitman – in 2015 and eventual 3-year-old champion West Coast in 2017.

“(Once On Whiskey) has been working well and we’ve been wanting to stretch him out, so we decided to put him in here,’’ said Baffert. “In the stretch I could tell Ax Man was starting to get tired.

“I saw a horse coming and I said, ‘That’s me,’ so that was good. He needed the whole stretch to get there.

“I’m happy for the whole (Pegram, Watson and Weitman) gang. I like what I saw from him today. Coming in I really thought Ax Man could do it, but on the turn, I could see them ganging up on him and he just didn’t respond.

“I have to give credit to (Prat). I told him just to be patient with him.’’

Ax Man finished a head in front of King Cause, the longest shot in the field at 54-1, and Blended Citizen, the 5-1 third choice, trailed.

Heriberto Figueroa rode three winners Saturday to move into a tie with fellow apprentice Asa Espinoza atop the standings entering the final day of the Summer Thoroughbred Festival.

Figueroa is scheduled to ride four horses Sunday while Espinoza has three mounts. Both riders have 11 victories.

Figueroa, an 18-year-old native of Puerto Rico, swept the early double Saturday with Chiefs Lil Pearl in the first and Sheza Factor in the second before taking the ninth race with Typhoon Harry.

Baffert holds a 5-4 lead over Steve Miyadi in the trainer’s race.

Racing resumes Sunday at Los Alamitos. Post time is 1 p.m.

Los Alamitos Thoroughbred Daily Results and Activity

Results

Saturday, July 14
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Claiming – $16,000 $17,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 2 Maiden Claiming – $20,000 $15,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 3 Claiming – $8,000 $14,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 4 Maiden Claiming – $20,000 $15,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 5 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $45,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 6 Claiming – $8,000 $14,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 7 Claiming – $12,500 $16,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 8 Los Alamitos Derby $150,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 9 Maiden Claiming – $20,000 $15,000 Overnight Overnight