As Belmont Stakes approaches, will Justify win the Triple Crown?

Jockey Martin Garcia works Triple Crown hopeful Justify at Churchill Downs in Louisville Ky. Tuesday

For Baffert, victory for Justify would see him become the second trainer ever to have two Triple Crown horses to his name.

"Let's see if he can do it", said Baffert, who will also send out longshot Restoring Hope in Saturday's main event.

A legendary prognosticator and current CBS Sports expert, Goldberg couldn't have been more dead-on about the 2018 Kentucky Derby. Noble Indy is expected to press the early pace and Vino Rosso will run from off the pace.

"I never do like to draw the rail, but my horses seem to live in it", said Bob Baffert, Justify's trainer. And I really believe it, so much so that I am to the point that - against my better judgment and personal theory that races should always be run before crowning a victor - I refuse to believe there will be any other outcome.

It is hard to avoid, though. So, I am really looking forward to it, and it's fitting that the head coach of the New York Giants is involved since Chris Mara is a member of the Starlight Racing group, which owns a stake in Justify, and Chris' love for racing started when his parents, Wellington and Ann, took him to Belmont Park as a child. And if that were to happen, why wouldn't Baffert welcome the sight of something antediluvian?

"He is so talented, I think he can dictate the race", Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said of Justify.

The morning line odds were also set at the draw, with Justify as the heavy favorite at 4/5. Monday he had a more relaxing breeze of 1:01 2/5 for five furlongs before shipping east. Incredibly, Baffert could be going for his fourth Triple Crown. And certainly not the flight from Kentucky, where he spent most of the last two weeks.

"We're quietly optimistic that we can hopefully do it again, " Baffert said.

"He didn't get hot. He still has to get on the plane tomorrow in Kentucky and we still have a few days left, but since the Preakness everything has been going smoothly".

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And to a lot of attention.

"It's just a different vibe", said Bob Baffert, who also trained Pharoah.

Justify then took about a 20-minute shed-row walk to get rid of any cobwebs.

Truth be told, Baffert prefers a dry, fast track. In 1919, when Sir Barton won what would not be regularly termed the Triple Crown until 1930, the 3-year-old won the Kentucky Derby on May 10, the Preakness on May 14 and the Belmont Stakes on June 11, with a win in the May 24 Withers thrown in for good measure. "What a lovely horse.' He's become a rock star, like Pharoah, so let's see if he can do it".

With Javier Castellano getting the ride for the first time, Pletcher has said he wants Noble Indy to be near the early lead but not necessarily on it. The gelding was running 10th of 13 horses on the backstretch when his left front leg snapped, tossing Smith onto the wet dirt. Just how he handles it will go a long way to determining Saturday's victor.

Time: 5:30 p.m.

To win the Belmont, a grueling 1 1/2-mile route around two turns, requires a certain blend of speed and stamina, both of which can be found in Justify's pedigree.

Todd Pletcher may have something to say in the Belmont. Please subscribe and post a review where available at Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music and Stitcher.

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