Wheels Up to Sponsor Justify in Belmont Stakes

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Trainer Bob Baffert knows how to handle the spotlight, having led American Pharoah to Triple Crown glory back in 2015.

Aside from all the usual speculation that comes in the aftermath of a post-position draw, Justify is worthy of his praise, as he's excelled in muddy wins at the Kentucky and the Preakness. Hofburg, who is trained by the Hall of Famer Bill Mott, drew Post 4 and was made the second choice at 9-2. Hofburg finished seventh in the Kentucky Derby and did not run in the Preakness. He broke from the No. 1 post in the Preakness.

Should Justify pull off the historic bid in the one-and-a-half-mile Belmont, the third and most hard of the Triple Crown legs staged at the venerable race course just outside NY city limits, the colt will set a record for number of rivals defeated with the storied feat on the line.

Justify fights off a game challenge to win the Preakness by a half-length in a thick fog.

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. His throw from in front of the mound was high to infielder Luis Guillorme, who rose up to catch it.

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Baffert, who was scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Tuesday night's game, can become only the second trainer to saddle more than one Triple Crown victor after "Sunny" Jim Fitzsimmons, who trained Gallant Fox and Omaha.

Baffert has another horse in the race: Restoring Hope, the third-place finisher in the Wood Memorial.

Gronkowski is a 12-1 long shot, no doubt attractive odds for his part-owner Rob Gronkowski, the New England Patriots tight end.

Justify will face a tough field, one that includes at least 10 challengers, as of Monday morning. He and teammate Tom Brady have wagered together at the Derby in past years. He got sick and missed the Derby and has been waiting to make his USA debut in the grueling Belmont.

Justify will start his run at the missing piece of his Triple Crown quest from the rail post in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday.

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