With an alert break out of post 7, Justify settled directly on the outside of pacesetter Promises Fulfilled, pressed the frontrunner down the backstretch with blazing fractions, :23 first quarter, :45 half-mile, 1:11.01 6 furlongs and was able to hold off Good Magic down the stretch for a two-length win in the slop at Churchill Downs. Justify completed the 1 1/4 miles in 2:04.20. Justify broke the long standing “Curse of Apollo,” becoming the second Derby winner to have not raced as a 2-year-old. Justify’s first race was a Maiden Special Weight at Santa Anita on February 18 at 7 furlongs.
The 114th Kentucky Derby victory was Bob Baffert fifth Kentucky Derby victory, the second-most of all time behind only Ben Jones, and the second one for Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith. Justify’s owners are; WinStar Farms, China Horse Club, Starlight Racing and Head of Plains Partners’.
The other horses that hit the board were Florida Derby winner Audible, third, just a head behind Good Magic, while Instilled Regard finished fourth.
Justify’s win extends the consecutive number of wins by the betting favorite to six.