"I don't see how (Restoring Hope) got in anyone's way", the jockey told CNN Sport's Don Riddell. "That's his job, to protect the other horse, and it worked for them", Velazquez said. Among those in the crowd was Denise King of Raceland, Kentucky, who took a break from a conference to come to Churchill Downs with a friend and see a bit of history. "If my horse would have broke on top, I would have been on the lead and Justify laying second".
Baffert fell short the first three times he brought a horse to Belmont with a chance at the Triple Crown - with Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998) and War Emblem (2002). 'He got really rank with him.
"Rank" means that the horse ignored the jockey's attempts to rein in his speed.
Asked Saturday after the race about the idea of using Restoring Hope as a "wing man" out of the gates for Justify, Baffert downplayed it. "I was going to bring four (horses) but I didn't want to buck those odds of, like a year ago".
Following the race Geroux admitted that he struggled to keep control of Restroing Hope, while owner Gary West told the New York Post that he didn't like the way Restoring Hope raced and that he didn't understand Geroux's race strategy. Justify is the first undefeated horse to complete the Triple Crown since 1977.
In providing a second Triple Crown in a span of three years, however, Justify has done his part to make the achievement mainstream once again.
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'Justify's a freak, super horse, undefeated, unbelievable what he's done, ' Repole told DFR. "We didn't belong in the race, anyway, and that is my fault". We'll never know. At the end of the day Bob had a game plan for his two jockeys, we had a game plan for our two jockeys'.
Doug Bredar, the agent for Geroux, said he has no comment and Geroux has no comment.
'Nothing was brought to our attention, ' Lewandowski said.
More than 15 million viewers were watching NBC's Belmont Stakes broadcast on Saturday as NBC Sports' Larry Collmus called the race, finishing with a flourish.
Barnes, a Santa Rosa native and 1977 graduate of Montgomery High School, had the pleasure of walking Triple Crown victor Justify around the grounds while camera-clicking fans followed their every step, intent on getting a shot or horse racing's newest superstar.
'If said violation is without such effect upon the finish of the race, penalty therefore may be applied against the offender only'.