A total of 23 horses have won the Belmont from the No1 post since records were kept in 1905, making it the winningest post position. "We'll deal with it".
The iconic trainer won the Belmont in three consecutive years from 1994-1996, finding the winner's circle with Tabasco Cat, Thunder Gulch and Editor's Note before adding a fourth in 2000 with Commendable. Hofburg, who is trained by the Hall of Famer Bill Mott, drew Post 4 and was made the second choice at 9-2. Vino Rosso finished ninth in the Derby and didn't run in the Preakness. Justify and Bravazo will be the only horses to campaign the entire Triple Crown trail this year. American Pharoah ended a 37-year drought when he completed the sweep in 2015.
Shurmur, who was hired in January, also recently threw out a first pitch at Citi Field before a Mets game as he comes into focus in the NY spotlight.
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Justify, who opened as a 4/5 favorite, is looking to become the first Triple Crown victor since American Pharoah, another Baffert horse, in 2015 but only the third since 1978.
Nine horses are set to line up against Justify, including five he beat in the Derby and two he beat in the Preakness. One horse - Seahenge - considered a possibility for Saturday's race didn't enter, but the rest of the lineup was as expected. In 2013, Lukas brought Oxbow (Awesome Again) to Belmont to follow up a win in the Preakness with a runner-up finish.
The only other horse at shorter odds than 12-1 in the morning-line odds is Noble Indy.
Justify is an overwhelming betting favorite to repeat the feat and win at Belmont.