Justify clinches Triple Crown with Belmont Stakes win
Forbes says Justify could be worth $60 million in stud fees alone
As he thundered across the line to win the coveted Triple Crown, Justify’s value skyrocketed to about $60 million with potential for more.
The three-year-old chestnut colt became the 13th horse ever to win the Triple Crown of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes after a dominant victory at Belmont Park in New York Saturday.
Forbes has estimated that once retired, Justify could demand an initial $100,000 stud fee – giving him a $60 million value based solely on breeding fees if he were to cover 150 mares per breeding season for four years.
Depending on the racing performances of his offspring, this value could rise even higher.
In England, Godolphin stallion Dubawi’s stud fees have risen from £25,000 ($34,000) to £250,000 ($334,000) after becoming the fastest ever to sire to 50 Group race winners.
“The day the horse leaves the racecourse is the end of his career and his future is entirely determined by the success of his progeny,” says Sam Bullard, director of stallions at Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket, part of Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin racing outfit.
Justify has won all six races he has run this year – Seattle Slew was the only other undefeated horse to win the Triple Crown in 1977.
It’s an impressive feat for a horse that only started racing 113 days ago and was originally purchased for $500,000.
Justify’s hall-of-fame trainer Bob Baffert said the win was meant to be.
“I wanted to see that horse’s name up there (with the other greats) because we know he was brilliant from day one,” he told reporters.
Baffert has trained more winners in Triple Crown races (15) than anyone – he also trained 2015 Triple Crown champion American Pharoah.
Following the Belmont Stakes race, some began to accuse another one of Baffert’s horses, Restoring Hope, as assisting Justify and jockey Mike Smith by blocking other horses in the race.
However, Smith was quick to dispute those claims.
“I don’t see how (Restoring Hope) got in anyone’s way,” the jockey told CNN Sport’s Don Riddell. “I went back to look at (the footage) after I read that, I’ve checked it several times. Everyone got a fair shot at me.
“Justify was on his game that day, so I don’t think – on that day – anyone was going to beat him.”
Justify will travel from Belmont Park to Churchill Downs in Kentucky to get a “week or so” off before owners decide what’s next for the undefeated horse.