Triple Crown winner Justify retired with ankle problem

Unbeaten three-year-old in line to be sold to Coolmore Stud

Justify and jockey Mike Smith winning the Belmont Stakes in June to complete the Triple Crown. Photograph: Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Justify and jockey Mike Smith winning the Belmont Stakes in June to complete the Triple Crown. Photograph: Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

 

Justify has been retired because of injury, connections of the undefeated American Triple Crown winner said in a statement.

The three-year-old son of Scat Daddy has been struggling with an ankle problem which has now brought the end to a magnificent career.

Trainer Bob Baffert said: “Justify had some filling in his ankle, and he is just not responding quick enough for a fall campaign.

“We all wanted to see Justify run again, but ultimately it is my responsibility to make sure he is perfect.

“Without 60-90 days, I can’t be definite.”

Justify is partly owned by WinStar Farm, whose president Elliott Walden said: “We all wanted him to finish his career in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, but it was not meant to be.

“As has been reported, there is a possible sale to Coolmore in place, but that won’t be finalised until a later date.”

Justify retires with a perfect six-from-six record and has earned over €3.2 million in prizemoney.

Jockey Mike Smith, who partnered Baffert’s star in five of his races, said: “There was never a time when I rode him that I felt like I was going to get beat.

“There was no horse who could run with him without sacrificing themselves, and there was no horse who could come get him.

“He truly is a gift from God.”

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