So here we are the morning after the Kentucky Derby and the “TC” questions are already flying like cousin Joe Bob’s kids to the candy jar. Justify’s performance in winning the 144th Run for the Roses was no doubt worthy of Triple Crown thoughts. Unbeaten and with a ton of horsepower, this Bob Baffert trained son of Scat Daddy has delivered the goods in all four of his starts.
“He’s a big horse that has great mechanics and a supercharger,” says Baffert. “He is a superior horse and we feel very lucky to have him in the Bob Baffert barn. To do things the way he did against a really quality field says a lot. After his maiden win I told the owners I think we have something really, really special here.”
Baffert’s proclamation may become an understatement after watching that mile and a quarter on May 5. Motoring through some sizzling opening fractions (22.24 opening quarter 45.77 half mile) in second place, Justify took command at about the 3/8 pole and ran like a big block through the finish line. Of course there were questions about his ability to respond when challenged, but when Good Magic came at him at the top of the stretch, he white-smoked the tires.
Of course the Preakness Stakes is next at Pimlico where Baffert’s previous four Derby winners have all been victorious. Does that mean the second leg is a slam dunk and you can make your Belmont reservations? In this sport there are no sure things. The Baffert barn will take things one day at a time as they should and prepare Justify for a deeper run into immortality. But to answer the question posed in our title…Justify ain’t hit the rev limiter just yet and the tachometer’s red line is safe. Rest assured, that is not because there is not enough horse power there.