a put up deal

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I don't trust it. There is extra-good reason to suspect this. And if you saw the Preakness, you will know Justify was struggling hard and if you watched the Kentucky Derby, you probably thought, man, that horse doesn't mind the mud, but was struggling too fuckin' hard toward the wire.

I can say with full authority that horse is solid perfect out the gate every damn time, and runs like a ballet dancer, which is a sure sign of a top quality thoroughbred... and Baffert probably would not even take a horse that wasn't of that caliber, no matter who owned it.

But I think all three of those races may have been thrown... but almost definitely the second two... especially the Belmont. Yes, most especially the Belmont. Even if you just look at one horse beside Justify, Gronkowski, the dark brown horse from the back of the pack who made a spectacular run on the inside was allowed, or made, to start his run way too early.

No jockey in the Belmont Stakes would be that stupid.

Also jockeys know how to look exactly like they're riding their hearts out to win races because they will be in big trouble if seen not to be. You will notice those guys wiggling around atop their mounts like a pack of angry bait worms. YET Justify can wobble his way to the wire in front of them in the three most famous races on earth.

I only saw the last couple seconds of the Preakness and said he couldn't win the Belmont. Yes, still too tired from the Derby had to be part of it, and, again, that is a NICE horse, with the stride of royalty, but the Preakness is the shortest of the three, maybe the mud helped him, but he was dead on his feet for the last 20% of the race. Puh-thetic. Still, a shred of possibility the competition were all flummoxed by the mud and fog.

NOT the Belmont. Another gorgeous start and that spectacular stride. Just yummy... but then he starts wobbling pretty hard for pretty long before he gets his second wind... which is usual in fit horses. They will get their wind back after going too fast out the gate, but it almost always costs them the win, and ALWAYS costs them the win when in that level company, and he was back wobbling again to the wire, when probably all the other horses could have gotten past him, but even if none of the others could, Gronkowski was flying past everyone on the inside from way back in the pack would have blown Justify down on his way by if the jockey didn't make that "stupid" move that Belmont Stakes jockeys NEVER make.


I am not saying 2:28:18 is a slow mile and a half. I'm saying it would've been down into the high 2:27 zone if Gronkowski had been allowed to run his race. Not Belmont Stakes history, but not slow. Not a dazzling performance, but a wrecker of a dazzling performance by another dazzling distance horse.

pipe up any time....