The long-anticipated deal between the owners of Justify and Coolmore America regarding the Triple Crown winner's stallion career is being finalized, WinStar Farm announced on Friday.
“After much deliberation with all the partners, we've decided to accept Coolmore's offer to stand Justify,” said Elliott Walden, president, CEO and racing manager of WinStar Farm. “As you can imagine, this is a bittersweet moment for all of us connected to this special horse who gave us the ultimate thrill of a lifetime. We believe strongly in Justify as a stallion and the ownership group has retained breeding rights. We look forward to supporting him at Ashford Stud.”
Campaigned by WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners LLC, and Starlight Racing and trained by Bob Baffert, Justify, a son of the late Scat Daddy, left an indelible mark on racing in his historic 3-year-old season, winning all six career starts, banking $3,798,000.
Justify's meteoric rise to prominence began with a flashy 9 ½-length romp in his Feb. 18 unveiling at Santa Anita. After just two starts—both wins—he powered to a three-length win in the Santa Anita Derby (G1). Justify broke the “Curse of Apollo” winning the Kentucky Derby (G1) by 2 ½ lengths on May 5, becoming the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Derby without starting as a 2-year-old. He captured the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico in wire-to-wire fashion on May 19 and became the 13th Triple Crown winner in history with a 1 ¾-length triumph in the Belmont Stakes (G1) June 9, becoming the first undefeated Triple Crown winner since Seattle Slew.
“We look forward to standing our second Triple Crown winner at Ashford Stud,” said M.V. Magnier (Coolmore also stands 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah). “Let's hope he proves as good as his sire Scat Daddy.”
“Justify was a truly exceptional racehorse,” said Ashford Stud manager Dermot Ryan. “There is a reason only thirteen horses have won the Triple Crown, it takes an extraordinary horse to achieve such a difficult feat. It is such a privilege to be around greatness, and to have the best son of the much missed Scat Daddy standing here is fantastic. His sons have made an immediate impact at stud, and Justify has all the right credentials to continue Scat Daddy's legacy. He is just breathtaking to look at, an outstanding individual and fantastic mover, he's got everything you look for in a stallion.”
“We are thankful to everyone involved with Justify, and are excited to have him at Coolmore,” Magnier said. “It is an amazing achievement for Bob Baffert and his team to have developed the career of two Triple Crown winners in just 4 years.
“American Pharoah's first crop of yearlings are outstanding and have been very well received by the market,” he continued. “I am in no doubt that Justify will prove equally successful.”
A fee will be set for Justify at a later date.
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