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Justify sidelined by swollen left front ankle

The 13th Triple Crown winner will not race in the Haskell Invitational on July 29.

Triple Crown winner Justify outside the stable with

Triple Crown winner Justify outside the stable with Trainer Bob Baffert the day after winning the Belmont Stakes on Sunday, June 10, 2018 in Elmont. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Triple Crown winner Justify’s racing future is on hold because of a swollen ankle. The undefeated colt has been taken out of training, and trainer Bob Baffert told the Daily Racing Form he will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

“Justify had some filling in his left front ankle a week ago, which subsided in a couple of days,” Baffert said Tuesday in a statement. “I trained him last week and the filling came back. We want to get him checked out.”

The horse has not raced since the Belmont Stakes on June 9, and questions had arisen because he had not had a timed workout since then. The injury removes the July 29 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park as a possibility for his return.

“We just have to evaluate it,” Baffert told the Daily Racing Form. “It goes and it comes. It’s the first time he’s ever had a little filling, so you have to be cautious. He’s not unsound . . . We’re just being super-duper cautious.”

Elliott Walden is the CEO and racing manager of WinStar Farm, one of Justify’s majority owners.

“Justify is too special to our owners, and to our team, and all the fans he has around the world, to not be 100 percent healthy,’’ Walden said in a statement. “As far as any future plans for him, they will be decided after we get him checked out. He is an amazing horse, and we are blessed by his presence.”

Thoroughbred racing’s 13th Triple Crown winner is expected to be retired at the end of the year and begin his stallion career next winter.

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