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Lofty goals for Justify after allowance romp
Sunday, March 11, 2018
Lofty goals for Justify after allowance romp
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The buzz around Justify continues to build following his total demolition of a group of fellow 3-year-olds in a one-mile allowance race March 11 at Santa Anita Park (VIDEO).

After Justify broke his maiden on Feb. 18 by nearly 10 lengths, earning a gaudy 104 Beyer Speed Figure, Bob Baffert said he had a plan to get the son of Scat Daddy to the Kentucky Derby (G1). Speculation was that Baffert would run the colt in the Sunland Derby (G3), but he opted for Sunday's allowance instead.

Sent away at 1-20 odds, Justify turned in another eye-popping performance. After sitting third early, he took over at will midway on the turn and drew off in hand to stop the timer in 1:35.73 on the muddy racetrack.

“That [acceleration] came so natural,” said winning jockey Mike Smith. “He switched leads and naturally opened up his stride and was two in front. I was like, ‘wow.’ I didn’t ask him to move, he just did that extremely easily. He came off that turn like it was a stroll. Just very, very impressed I hate to compare him to other horses right now, but doesn’t he remind you of an Easy Goer way back in the day. Just a big ol’ red horse with a big, powerful stride. The distance didn’t seem to bother him. I know that was just a mile, but he could have galloped out another quarter of a mile if he had to.” 

With less than two months until Derby Day, Justify will need to finish in the top two in one of the remaining Derby preps to qualify for the Run for the Roses. Baffert, who was en route to Florida for the OBS 2-year-old Sale on Sunday, will consult with the ownership team of China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing and WinStar Farm before plans are finalized. 

Baffert 2013