Justify Wins Preakness, Keeping Triple Crown Hopes Alive

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Justify, ridden by Mike Smith, wins the 143rd Preakness Stakes in the mud and fog Saturday to capture the second leg of the Triple Crown in Baltimore. Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images hide caption

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Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images

Justify, ridden by Mike Smith, wins the 143rd Preakness Stakes in the mud and fog Saturday to capture the second leg of the Triple Crown in Baltimore.

Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images

Dense fog and a soggy track blurred ideal viewing conditions, but there was no mistaking Justify’s run to victory in the 143rd running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

Entering the race with an overwhelming 5-1 odds, the undefeated favorite, ridden by jockey Mike Smith, shot out of Post 7 with a clean start as he had in Kentucky. Smith takes his second Preakness win.

While Justify’s victory hardly came as a shock, don’t call it an easy win. The favorite, who had been recovering from a bruised hind foot, stayed nose-to-nose with trailing challenger Good Magic for the majority of the race. But in the end, Bravazo placed second and Tenfold, a long shot, finished third.

“It was a nail-biter,” Justify’s trainer Bob Baffert told NBC Sports. “They put it to us. It was like they had their own private match race (but I’m) so happy we got it done. Such a great horse to handle all that pressure and get it done.”

Baffert is now one race closer to taking his second Triple Crown. Baffert led American Pharoah to Triple Crown victory in 2015, ending a 37-year-drought in series champions.

Justify’s next stop: the final jewel of the Triple Crown at Belmont Stakes in New York on June 9.

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