LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Justify returned to Churchill Downs on Sunday at 2:15 p.m. to begin training for the third jewel in racing’s Triple Crown, the June 9 Belmont Stakes.
“It was a very smooth trip back to Kentucky,” Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s assistant Jimmy Barnes said. “We had a great trip to Pimlico. We brought two horses and they both won. The only thing that wasn’t so great was the weather. It rained every day we were there – Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and obviously Saturday.
Barnes said the off track at Pimlico was different than Churchill Downs's off track, which Justify liked. He said Pimlico's track was a "harder surface underneath the water."
"Mike (Smith) said he was battling the entire time with horses and getting pressured the whole way,” Barnes said.
The colt will walk near Barn 33 at Churchill Downs three or four days before continuing light training, according to Barnes.
There will be a special training period at Churchill Downs for horses preparing for the Belmont Stakes. That begins Wednesday, May 23, from 7:30 a.m. to 7:40 a.m.
Other known possible Belmont Stakes starters based at Churchill include Bravazo, Free Drop Billy and Tenfold.