Justify

Justify (f. 2015) won the Triple Crown of U.S. Thoroughbred racing in 2018. He has been retired from racing since July 2018 and is now working as a stud.

Justify is the second horse ever to win this Triple Crown with an undefeated record. The first horse to accomplish this was Seattle Slew, who did it in 1977. Justify is a fifth-generation descendant of Seattle Slew on the maternal side (via A.P. Indy).

Justify is known not just for his performance on the track but also for his impressive size. He is a massive horse that stands 16.3 hands at the withers. During this Triple Crown era, he weighed within the span 1,268 lbs – 1,380 lbs.

Justify

Short facts about Justify

Birth: March 28, 2015

Sire: Scat Daddy

Dam: Stage Magic

Sex: Stallion

Color: Chestnut (With a large white blaze on his forehead.)

Record: 6: 6-0-0

Breeder: John D. Gunther

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Major wins

Santa Anita Derby (2018)
Kentucky Derby (2018)
Preakness Stakes (2018)
Belmont Stakes (2018)

Awards, Honors, etc

  • US throughbred Triple Crown winner (2018)
  • American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse (2018)
  • 2018 American Horse of the Year
  • Ranked second-best three-year-old colt at the 2018 World’s Best Racehorse Rankings, behind Roaring Lion.
  • Justify´s win at Belmont was named the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Moment of the Year.

Background

Justify was bred on the Glennwood Farm in Kentucky. This farm and horse breeding enterprise is run by John D. Hunter and his daughter Tanya Hunter.

Justify, born on March 28, 2015, was part of the penultimate crop of the stud Scat Daddy, a stallion who had achieved great success on both dirt racecourses in the United States and turf in Europe and South America.

In 2016, the young Justify was sold for $500,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sales. The buyer was a new partnership where WinStar Farm was the majority owner (60%), China Horse Club owned 25% and SF Racing 15%. In March 2018, Starlight Racing and Sol Kumin´s Head of Plains bought into the partnership.

Justify was initially trained by Rodolpho Brisset at Keeneland. After pulling a muscle, the horse was left to recover and grow for a while, before being sent to the trainer Bob Baffert at Santa Anita in January 2018.

Justify´s pedigree

Sire
Scat Daddy
Johannesburg Hennessy Storm Cat
Island Kitty
Myth Ogygian
Yarn
Love Style Mr. Prospector Raise a Native
Gold Digger
Likeable Style Nijinsky
Personable Lady
Dam
Stage Magic
Ghostzapper Awesome Again Deputy Minister
Primal Force
Baby Zip Relaunch
Thirty Zip
Magical Illusion Pulpit A.P. Indy
Preach
Voodoo Lily Baldski
Cap the Moment

Yarn and Preach are full sisters, with Mr. Prospector as their sire. Justify is thus linebred 3 x 5 x 5 to Mr. Prospector.

It is also worth noticing that Justify is a descendant of Northern Dancer through no less than six of his ancestors: Storm Cat, Yarn, Nijinsky, Deputy Minister, Preach, and Baldski.

Further back, Justify´s pedigree includes the U.S. Triple Crown title holders Seattle Slew (through A.P. Indy), Secretariat (through both A.P. Indy and Storm Cat), Count Fleet (through Mr. Prospector and Primal Force), War Admiral, Omaha, and Gallant Fox. Also, Nijinsky won the English Triple Crown.

Controversy

In September 2019, The New York Times revealed that Justify had tested positive for the banned performance-enhancing substance scopolamine. The positive test came just a few days after Justify´s win at the 2018 Santa Anita Derby.