Justify gets Belmont Stakes sponsor in Wheels Up

  • Justify gets Belmont Stakes sponsor in Wheels Up

Justify gets Belmont Stakes sponsor in Wheels Up

Mara compared winning the Kentucky Derby to winning a Super Bowl in an interview with the New York Post, so finishing off the rare Triple Crown likely would supplant both memories.

Trainer Bob Baffert, who also trained American Pharoah, brings the chestnut colt to the Triple Crown's final race as a 4-5 odds-on favorite. The colt was a fast-closing third in the Preakness and is 12-1 for the Belmont. Vino Rosso finished ninth in the Derby and didn't run in the Preakness. The Kentucky Derby's 17th-place finisher is at 9-1. He won the Preakness.

"I wanted to be sure, I've never thrown one short", Baffert said with a laugh.

Jockey Mike Smith will need to use Justify's speed to get him away from the starting gate before the rest of the field comes over on him along the rail.

"Let's see if he can do it", said Baffert, who will also send out longshot Restoring Hope in Saturday's main event. "He is on the inside, so he can sort of dictate what's going to go, what's happening".

Shurmur, who was hired in January, also recently threw out a first pitch at Citi Field before a Mets game as he comes into focus in the NY spotlight. "Once you become part of the Wheels Up family, the magic happens-everyone saw that three years ago when Wheels Up sponsored American Pharoah and he won the Triple Crown at Belmont".

Nine horses are set to line up against Justify, including five he beat in the Derby and two he beat in the Preakness.

WheelsUp isn't a stranger to the Triple Crown. He got sick and missed the Derby and has been waiting to make his USA debut in the grueling Belmont.

The D Wayne Lukas-trained Bravazo, who finished a half-length behind Justify at the Preakness, will break from the third post while John Velazquez, a two-times Belmont Stakes victor, will be aboard Vino Rosso in the eighth post.