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Triple Crown Odds for Derby Winner Justify Shrinking

Justify Triple Crown Odds Horse Racing Preakness American Pharoah

We had to wait nearly four decades to witness history with American Pharoah completing the Triple Crown in 2015, and now his trainer Bob Baffert is looking to do it again just three years later with Justify.

The undefeated colt won the Kentucky Derby by 2 ½ lengths and is currently the -250 favorite at Bovada in early Preakness wagering.

Bovada is offering a prop bet on whether Justify can then head to New York and win the Triple Crown. His odds to win the Triple Crown were +150 on May 17 with the "No" coming back at -200.

The Preakness field is coming up light, with only Bravazo definite among the 19 runners Justify defeated in the Kentucky Derby. Bravazo checked in sixth and is +2000 in early Preakness betting at Bovada.

Derby runner-up Good Magic is still on the fence according to his trainer Chad Brown, and despite not committing to the race the colt is the current second choice in Preakness betting at +350.

Bolt d’Oro a potential threat

Justify’s Preakness chances could get a bit tougher as now Bolt d’Oro, who was a disappointing 12th in the Derby, may indeed head to Baltimore for the Preakness, his trainer Mick Ruis announced on Thursday morning.

Others pointing toward the Preakness include Diamond King, Sporting Chance, Quip, Tenfold and Givemeaminit. None of that group will keep Baffert up late at night.

With 10 of the last 21 Derby winners successful in the Preakness, Justify is a deserving short-priced favorite and will be tough to beat next Saturday.

Winning at 1 ½ miles in the Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 9 could be a different story.

Trainer Todd Pletcher, who won the 2013 Belmont with Palace Malice and last year with Tapwrit, started four horses in the Derby and is skipping the Preakness.

Among his quartet, Derby ninth-place finisher Vino Rosso will be pointed toward the Belmont. Magnum Moon, who was 19th, is getting a break and the plans for Noble Indy (17th) and Audible (third) are still up in the air.

The lightly raced Hofburg, who was second in the Florida Derby (G1) and ran seventh in the Derby, looks headed to the Belmont and could end up being the biggest threat to end Justify’s Triple Crown chances.

One or two runners coming out of Saturday’s Peter Pan (G1) at Belmont Park likely will return in the Belmont.

Does heel bruise warrant concern?

While there may not be a horse that can stop Justify’s Triple Crown bid, some thought a heel bruise could.

Video surfaced after the Derby of Justify appearing to be walking gingerly. Baffert called it a scratch and it was then disclosed he had a minor heel bruise.

Any thoughts of Justify not making it to the Preakness were put aside on Thursday morning when the Derby winner went out and galloped over the Churchill Downs main track, looking sound.

Baffert has won the Preakness six times and has brought four Derby winners to Baltimore and has a perfect record with the quartet.

Justify is a serious threat to become the 13th Triple Crown winner and just the second since Affirmed in 1978.

Handicapper Michael Dempsey will be covering the Triple Crown for OddsShark and his full card reports with selections, analysis, fair odds line and wagering recommendations for major tracks can be found daily at turfnsport.com.


Odds as of May 17 at Bovada. Article written on May 10.

  • Justify +150
  • No Triple Crown winner -200