Justify looks ready to go for Preakness Stakes despite injury concerns

Rob Carr/Getty ImagesThere was some concern after Justify suffered a bruised heel during his Kentucky Derby, but trainer Bob Baffert says the betting favourite will be ready to go when he enters the starting gate for the Preakness Stakes on Saturday.
  • Kentucky Derby winner Justify is the heavy favourite to take home another victory this Saturday at the Preakness Stakes.
  • There were some concerns last week after reports came out that Justify had suffered a bruised heel in the Derby, but trainer Bob Baffert assured racing fans that his horse would be good to go on Saturday.
  • Should Justify win the Preakness, he’ll be just one win away from making Triple Crown history.

This Saturday will mark the 143rd running of the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown of horse racing.

Heading into the race, Kentucky Derby winner Justify is the heavy favourite to once again cross the finish line first – a victory that would put him just one win away from Triple Crown history.

While he’s still the clear favourite, earlier in the week, there was some concern over the potential of a lingering injury potentially causing Justify a bit of trouble. After his win at the “Run for the Roses” at Churchill Downs, reports came out that the three-year-old had suffered a bruised heel on his left hind foot.

Thankfully, trainer Bob Baffert says his horse will be ready to go on Saturday.

“We were treating it for a cracked heel, but it never developed because we didn’t let it develop,” Baffert said on a conference call last week. “It’s all behind us, and we’re on to Baltimore.”

Since then, Baffert has only expressed more confidence in his horse, telling Paul Lo Duca of The Action Network, “When I tell you the horse is ready to go, he’s ready to go. I’ll see you in New York.”

His confidence is, for lack of a better term, justified.

Baffert has now won five Kentucky Derbys in his career as a trainer, and every one of his four previous Derby winners has gone on to win the second leg of the Triple Crown as well. His last horse to do so, American Pharoah, went on to win the Belmont Stakes as well, becoming the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978.

If Justify can take care of business and win at Pimlico on Saturday, there’s a chance Baffert might have another Triple Crown winner on his hands.

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