VERSAILLES, Ky. (WKYT) - Trainer Bob Baffert has announced Triple Crown winner Justify will no longer race following an ankle injury.
Justify (1), with jockey Mike Smith up, crosses the finish line to win the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race, Saturday, June 9, 2018, in Elmont, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
“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.”
Justify will retire undefeated in his career after becoming the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Kentucky Derby after not racing as a two-year-old.
The horse is the 13th Triple Crown winner and the first to do it undefeated since Seattle Slew in 1977.
“Like everyone else, I am disappointed he won't run again, but I am thankful he came into my life,” jockey Mike 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 will return to WinStar Farm in Versailles in August.