It might not have been what trainer Bob Baffert wanted, but in a 1 1/2-mile race, there is plenty of time to fix any mistakes.
Justify drew the No. 1 post for Saturday’s running of the Belmont Stakes, the race that could make him the 13th Triple Crown winner. The rail is considered one of the worst, if not the worst, posts to draw.
Baffert appeared unconcerned when the announcement was made, then pulled out his phone, looked at a message and started laughing with those around him.
The journey started in early February when trainer Bob Baffert walked into the office of Santa Anita racing secretary Rick Hammerle to inquire whether there would be enough entrants for an upcoming maiden race.
“I have a horse in there that can win the Kentucky Derby,” Baffert told Hammerle.
Who would have thought Baffert was underselling that horse?
Trainer Bob Baffert, adorned with a head of white hair, may be the most well-known figure in horse racing, but given the niche nature of the sport, he sometimes seems recognizable but people can’t quite place his name.
“I’m getting a lot more, ‘You’re the horse guy,’ ” Baffert said Friday morning at Belmont Park, where his colt Justify hopes to become the 13th winner of the Triple Crown on Saturday.
“Last night, when the driver picked me up, he said, ‘You look familiar,’ ” Baffert said. “I used to get a lot of [people thinking I was] Ric Flair.”
Want to see a little history made? Want to make sure you’re home to see it? Here’s what you need to know.
Justify’s quest to become the 13th winner of horse racing’s Triple Crown will begin around 6:46 p.m. if you are at Belmont Park in New York.
It’s the usual math after that. It’s 5:46 p.m. if you’re in the Chicago to Texas time zone. The area that houses the Rocky Mountains will see it at 4:46 p.m. And most importantly, it’s 3:46 p.m. in Los Angeles.