Triple Crown hopeful Justify had his final timed workout Monday morning for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, breezing 5 furlongs in 1:01.40 over a fast track at Churchill Downs. His regular exercise rider, jockey Martin Garcia, was aboard for the work, which drew an estimated 200 spectators.
“He seemed very happy,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “He was a little fresh last week, so it was good to see him relax nicely. Martin was very happy with him, so I was happy, too.”
The undefeated colt and stablemate Restoring Hope are scheduled to leave Churchill between 8 and 8:30 a.m. Wednesday before a flight from Louisville to Long Island.
The New York Racing Association said the plane is expected to land between 11:45 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at Islip’s MacArthur Airport. The van carrying the colts should arrive at Belmont Park about an hour later.
Trainer John Terranova and his wife, Tonja, are Syosset residents who have taken care of Baffert’s shippers to New York for 25 years. His two Belmont runners will stay at the Terranovas’ Barn 1 at Belmont Park, and Justify will be bedded down in the same stall that Baffert’s 2015 Triple Crown champion, American Pharoah, occupied.
Starlight’s bright star
Retired hedge fund manager Jack Wolf heads Starlight Racing, which has 15 percent of Justify. He’s the first Louisville resident since 1914 to own a Derby winner.
Louisville’s Anita Cauley is a Starlight member.
“Right now, I feel like I’m still in a dream, that it’s not really happening,” Cauley said. “So, fingers crossed. People will say, ‘Oh, you’re going to do it.’ I’m like, ‘Don’t say anything out loud.’
“Any of these races is hard to get. But to try to get all three, whew.”
Belmont Stakes draw
The Belmont post position draw is Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at Citi Field. A field of 10 is expected with the withdrawal of Bandua and Seahenge on Monday. Baffert will throw the ceremonial first pitch before the Orioles-Mets game.