Belmont Stakes: Justify draws No

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Justify will be shooting to become the 13th horse to win the Triple Crown when he runs the 1 1/2-mile race as the favorite.

European veteran Gronkowski isn't as accustomed to dirt, however, and may need more than a little of that fortune if he's to beat Justify, whose strong preparations suggest he's on course for Triple Crown treasure.

If Justify can run the ensuing 1.5 miles faster than the other nine entrants, he'll be the 13th Triple Crown victor.

So far, Justify has looked unstoppable.

100% Bonus on first deposit. Still, only 12 horses have won the prestigious achievement since 1875.

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Both horses have connections who have had Belmont success. Three years later, Justify might pull off the same feat, joining the eleven other iconic horses: Affirmed, Seattle Slew, Secretariat, Citation, Assault, Count Fleet, Whirlaway, War Admiral, Omaha, Gallant Fox, and the first ever Triple Crown victor, 1919's Sir Barton.

The deal, which will display the Wheels Up logo on Justify's blanket and jockey Smith's pant legs, turtleneck and boots, was put together by NY sports agency Leverage Agency. The brand's logo was on the trousers of Victor Espinoza when he rode American Pharoah to the Triple Crown in 2015. The last was with victor American Pharoah, making Wheels Up undefeated in Triple Crown sponsorship and putting everything on the line with Justify. When American Pharoah won in 2015, the second-place finisher was Frosted, another son of Tapit. He was 16th at the Kentucky Derby. Two of those winners, Palace Malice in 2013 (97, 96 and 93) and Union Rags in 2012 (103, 102 and 100), had declining numbers in the last two outings like Justify (114, 102 and 98). Neither Romans nor Albarado has won this race.

Justify barely held on to win the Preakness after dominating the Kentucky Derby. Bravazo was sixth at the Kentucky Derby.

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It was hard to discern which was less likely: that 12-time major champion Novak Djokovic would falter in his French Open quarterfinal or that Marco Cecchinato, who never won a Grand Slam match until last week and once faced a possible ban for losing on goal, would rise to the occasion. He's hitting a team-leading.346 with 21 home runs, second-most in school history, and 68 RBIs as one of college baseball's top sluggers. Ortiz won the 2016 aboard Creator. By the way, Baffert also trained Silver Charm.

Rounding out the field is Restoring Hope who has no hope of winning the Belmont. "You never know. odd things happen in that mile and a half race". Geroux has never ridden a Belmont victor.

Since Slew, only Smarty Jones (2004) and Big Brown (2008) had a chance to win the Triple Crown while flawless. That certainly suits Justify - he has never been worse than second at any call in his five-race career nor has he been behind more than 2 1/2 lengths at any point in any race.

When Gallant Fox won the Triple Crown in 1930, the Preakness was run before the Derby, but the distances were what they are now. Asmussen was the trainer for 2016 Belmont victor Creator, and Espinoza won the race in 2015 on American Pharaoh.

Vino Rosso has three wins from six starts with a couple of 90+ Beyer figure and probably could have done better than his ninth-place finish in Kentucky had that race been on a fast track. The colt is trained by Todd Pletcher and will be ridden by John Velazquez.

Besides winning the Eclipse Award seven times, Pletcher has established a reputation for strength in numbers when it comes to graded stakes contenders. Castellano is yet to.

Ron Flatter's racing column is posted every day this Belmont Stakes week at His only other stakes victory was also a Grade 3 race, so this is a major step up.

Justify is the early favorite to win.