Justify wins! Hall Of Fame Jockey Mike Smith, now a 2 time Kentucky Derby winner says “that might have been the easiest Kentucky Derby I’ve ever won” as he completes his victory lap slowing his horse Justify down to a trot just after the race had ended.

There were high fives all around and people hugging as the cameras turned to Bob Baffert, Justify’s trainer who was very excited.

As a trainer Baffert purposely did not race young Justify as a 2 year old. That means now the 136 year “curse of the un-raced 2 year old” winning the Kentucky Derby is over. This “curse” had commonly been discussed by every major sports and news network leading up to this amazing race, which some call the Kentucky Derby “the most exciting two minutes in sports.”

Kentucky Derby goers witnessed Justify take the win even though he was not leading until after the half mile mark. Kentucky Derby winner Mike Smith who road Justify over the wire with an amazingly strong finish said he wasn’t trying to ask too much too early from Justify and he “just wanted to keep him out of getting boxed in” and prevent getting a bunch of mud in the face of the horse as commonly happens to some of the horses in the back of the pack.

In this 144th Kentucky Derby the track conditions were certainly rained out pretty good but the fan favorite and odds makers best pick ended up being victorious despite the rain.

Jockey Mike Smith said “he stayed strong, we got a clean break” Justify stayed out clean of the mud in his face and when the time was right they went for it.

Coming into the final turn with a nice lead Mike Smith and Justify cruised to the win at a fast pace just as CBS Sports Analyst Hammerin’ Hank Goldberg said, “he could have tactical speed” and he did!


Images used ©CBS Sports ©NBC Broadcasting of The Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby 2018 related info: Mendelssohn did not arrive until just 2 days before the race at Churchill Downs happening on Cinco De Mayo. In an interview with CBS Sports, Hammerin’ Hank Goldberg stated he would have never considered the horse to have a chance to win after such a late arrival. He suggests that European trainers “have to learn” any horse competing in an event as big as the Kentucky Derby should be practicing in Churchill Downs weeks before the most exciting 2 minutes in sports happens, certainly not limit their training stateside to only 1 day after arrival.

Mendelssohn went off with 7-1 odds mainly because he actually won his last first place finish by 18 lengths in Dubai. Hammerin’ Hank Goldberg was spot on in his judgement and professed the clear outcome days before the race. Churchill Downs is a magnificent place to set your sights on finely dressed ladies and gentlemen, mighty horses racing and incredibly breathtaking views at Churchill Downs home of the Kentucky Derby. After 144 years running, the “most exciting two minutes in sports”will continue to be a staple of wildly popular sporting events, rain or shine, there’s nothing quite like the Kentucky Derby.

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