In 2018, Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith swept the Santa Anita Oaks and Derby with Midnight Bisou and Justify, respectively. He then guided Justify to victory again four weeks later, earning his second win in the Kentucky Derby, the first jewel of the Triple Crown. The pair's success continued in Baltimore, as Smith and Justify won the Preakness Stakes on another sloppy track. It was only another three weeks until Smith skillfully guided Justify around “Big Sandy,” setting the pace and rolling home to win the 150th Belmont Stakes and with it, the Triple Crown. Smith also holds the record for most wins in the Breeders’ Cup with 26.

For his latest racing thunderbolt, master trainer Bob Baffert pulled off his second Triple Crown in 2018 with his undefeated star Justify, whose dash through the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont under Mike Smith was a front-running thing of beauty. Baffert has now joined the legendary “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons (Gallant Fox 1930; Omaha 1935) as the only two conditioners to have saddled a pair of Triple Crown winners. Baffert also boasts the most Triple Crown races won – 15. Justify’s tour de force marked the fifth time the Hall of Fame trainer had been only one win away from the feat, losing in the final leg three times previously with Silver Charm in 1997, Real Quiet in 1998 and War Emblem in 2002. Baffert earned his first Triple Crown with American Pharoah in 2015. He now has triumphed in five Derbies, seven Preakness Stakes and three Belmont’s.

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