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Justify runs half-mile in prep for Triple try in Belmont

Triple Crown Horse Racing

Jockey Martin Garcia works Triple Crown hopeful Justify at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Tuesday, May 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Justify has completed a half-mile workout at Churchill Downs in preparation for his Triple Crown bid next month.

The 3-year-old colt covered the distance in 46.80 seconds on Tuesday with trainer Bob Baffert and co-owner Elliott Walden of WinStar Farm looking on. It was the fastest among 43 workouts at the distance. Jockey Martin Garcia flew in from Southern California to work Justify, who is ridden in races by Mike Smith.

Baffert says Justify performed the way he wanted, and he believes the colt is progressing ahead of the June 9 Belmont Stakes.

Justify is expected to have one more workout, possibly on Monday, before he flies to New York next Wednesday.

Baffert will return to his Southern California base before returning to Louisville this weekend.

Also Tuesday, Free Drop Billy was confirmed to run in the Belmont. The colt finished 16th in the Kentucky Derby and skipped the Preakness.