Undefeated Triple Crown Hero Justify Retired
Tara Madgwick - Thursday July 26
Scat Daddy's champion son Justify has been retired with nothing left to prove having won all six of his starts to date including that memorable Triple Crown victory of Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

Justify wins the Belmont - thanks for the memories"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."

Raced by WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners LLC, and Starlight Racing, Justify won on debut on February 18 and proceeded to accomplish many historical feats en route to racing stardom.

He broke the "Curse of Apollo" when he won the Kentucky Derby by 2 1/2 lengths on May 5, becoming the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Derby without starting as a 2-year-old.

"He is an incredible horse and we are very disappointed he can't run again," said WinStar Farm's Kenny Troutt. "All things happen for a reason, and we are blessed to have raced him to be the 13th Triple Crown winner in history."

Bred in Kentucky by John Gunther, Justify was purchased by China Horse Club and Maverick Racing for $500,000 out of the Glennwood Farm consignment at the 2016 Keeneland September sale and retires with earnings of $3,798,000.

Justify provided racing international exposure through the Triple Crown, winning the Belmont Stakes in China Horse Club's red and yellow colors after taking the Derby and Preakness in WinStar's silks.

"To win the Triple Crown is an amazing accomplishment," said China Horse Club's Teo Ah Khing. "The history of the Triple Crown and the difficulty of winning the three legs is not something I take lightly. It has been a great ride for all of us, and I have complete confidence Bob is doing the right thing by Justify."

Justify will return to WinStar Farm early next month.

"The timing is bad for another start in 2018, and therefore, we have to retire him," said WinStar Farm's Elliott Walden.

"Like American Pharoah, we can't take the risk of running Justify as a four-year-old. We all wanted him to finish his career in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1), but it was not meant to be. As has been reported, there is a possible sale to Coolmore in place, but that won't be finalized until a later date. We are excited to share him with our fans starting the middle of August after he gets acclimated."

Australian breeders have already enjoyed the presence of Triple Crown hero American Pharoah (USA), who covered 158 mares here last spring,  and may also see Justify at some point in the future.

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