By Dick Downey
D. Wayne Lukas said today he thinks the best chance of upsetting Justify has come and gone.
"I think we had a chance to beat Justify in the Preakness. Now he's going to be really tough. I think it's a lot tougher order to beat him now," said the Coach.
Lukas specified his opinion lies in the fact that a slower pace and Belmont Park's long turns may be ideally suited to Justify's running style.
"We're taking on Goliath, you know," he said. "This is not the junior prom we're dealing with. We're going to have a tough chore. I don't see any chinks in the armor."
Lukas acknowledged he could have gone a different route with Bravazo, but that it didn't take long to decide against it.
"The Ohio Derby may be a pretty good idea, but it doesn't fit my personality," he joked, adding, "He won't embarrass us. Brad Kelley said, 'Don't worry about that,' that he got over embarrassment in fourth grade."
Lukas said he, other trainers and even coaches of human teams face the same problem with top athletes.
"There's a fine line between performance and staleness," he said. "You have to be really careful you don't cross over it. That's true of the NFL teams, NBA teams, anybody in athletics. You can push them for fitness and getting them as good as you can, but you have to be really careful you don't go over that line. Because when they get a little bit sour or stale, boy, you're not going to get them back in two weeks. That's really tough."