(Justify / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
(Justify parades at Churchill Downs / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
From the WinStar Farm website:
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 today.
“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. 18th 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.”