Racing plans are on hold for Triple Crown winner Justify because of an ankle issue.
The Scat Daddy colt had resumed full training ahead of a planned late-summer campaign, but those plans are now up in the air.
“Justify had some filling in his left front ankle a week ago, which subsided in a couple days,” trainer Bob Baffert reported to Blood Horse this week. “I trained him last week and the filling came back. We want to get him checked out.”
Since beginning his career in February, Justify has won all of his six starts and more than US$3.75 million in prize-money. With an all-the-way victory in the Belmont Stakes early last month, he became the 13th Triple Crown winner in United States racing history. He is only the second since 1978, following in the footsteps of the Baffert-trained American Pharoah in 2015.
Justify is part-owned by the China Horse Club, whose Kiwi racing and bloodstock manager Michael Wallace played a key role in his US$500,000 purchase as a yearling. Ownership is shared with WinStar Farm, Head Of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing and SF Racing.
“To go from a maiden winner in February to an undefeated Triple Crown winner in June has been an incredible ride,” WinStar’s Elliott Walden said in a press release.
“He is too special to the owners, our team, and all the fans he has around the world to not be 100 per cent healthy. As far as any future plans for him, they will be decided after we get him checked out.”