Justify Wins a Dangerously Muddy 144th Kentucky Derby

The weather was bad but this horse was ready.

Getty Images

Getty Images

Justify was definitely the horse to watch in the 144th Kentucky Derby. The 3-year-old colt did not disappoint, winning handily before a crowd of more than 150,000.

What may be more remarkable is all the horses ran a tight and exciting race despite terrible track conditions. Derby Day often falls on a beautiful spring day, but today was rainy and the track was muddy and daunting.

Jockey Mike Smith and trainer Bob Baffert broke what’s been called the “Curse of Apollo” with Justify’s win. For 136 years, any horse with no racing history at age 2 had won the greatest event in racing. 

So even before heading to the Preakness, Justify is a pioneer. 

The horse also likely pleased odds makers as this marks the sixth time an odds-on favorite went on to win the run for the roses.

Bob Baffert told the Associated Press he didn’t have words to “describe how special this horse is.” 

Justify, said Baffert, has “that ‘it’ factor.”

Will Justify maintain that special something through the Preakness and Belmont? Keep an eye on the odds.