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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Justify 'Bright' the Morning After; Belmont Looms


By Dick Downey

Bob Baffert was outside the stakes barn at Pimlico at 7:30 Sunday morning and said Justify is doing well.

Describing the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner as "bright," Baffert said he'd take it easy with Justify the coming week.

The Belmont Stakes is the next goal, but nothing is ever set in stone, and Baffert said that as a matter of course Justify's status would be monitored before any final decision is made.

He's heading back to Churchill Downs for the time being, where he'll be overseen by assistant trainer Jim Barnes.

Even though Justify won the Preakness, Baffert said he may have bounced from his Kentucky Derby effort. Justify earned a 103 Beyer Speed Figure in the Derby and a 97 in the Preakness. It was Justify's fifth race -- and fifth win -- since debuting on Feb. 18.

Justify's lack of experience is still showing, according to Baffert. 'He's still a little green," the trainer said after observing that the son of Scat Daddy was jumping puddles during the running of the Preakness.

Runner-up Bravazo was all good this morning and is being pointed to the Belmont. Sporting Chance will get a break before Saratoga. They're being vanned back to Churchill Downs today.

Tenfold, third in the Preakness, is still looking at the Belmont Stakes this morning as long as the Preakness didn't take too much out of him.

Chad Brown said before the Preakness that the Belmont Stakes is not a consideration for Good Magic, who finished fourth in the Preakness after challenging Justify for the early lead and dueling with him into the stretch.

Lone Sailor, fifth in the Preakness is doing well this morning. Plans for his summer campaign are in the works.

Diamond King is heading back to Parx for the time being, and Quip will get time off.

The Belmont Stakes will be run two weeks from Saturday, and aside from Justify the early list of those looking to contend consists of Blended Citzen, Bravazo, Core Beliefs, Free Drop Billy, Hofburg, Tenfold and Vino Rosso. Audible and My Boy Jack have overlapping ownership interests with Justify, so decisions will have to be made. Solomini is of course trained by Baffert, but Zayat Stables owns all of him and none of Justify. Baffert trained American Pharoah to become the 12th winner of the Triple Crown for the Zayat operation.

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