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Published: Tue, May 08, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Texas woman's $18 Derby bet pays $1.2 million

Texas woman's $18 Derby bet pays $1.2 million

That fifth race happened to be the Kentucky Derby.

Justify broke cleanly out of the starting gate - a necessity according to Baffert - and quickly headed to the front of the pack.

"He came out of it really well", Baffert said of the Derby. "He's full of himself". He ate up last night and today he has been a handful. He knows he's a stud. He's so lovely. He's got the body. "Usually they are a little bit exhausted".

Justify could be going up against some fresh legs during the Preakness, so the feat won't be easy just two weeks after an arduous race in the rain and mud at the famed Churchill Downs. The Preakness, as always, will be run on the third Saturday of May. WinStar, which won its first Derby when Super Saver romped in the slop in 2010, owns the majority of the horse, and its president and chief executive, Elliott Walden, made a decision to name him Justify at the suggestion of an assistant.

"He's the most attractive horse", Baffert said.

In that first blush after the race, Baffert seemed to put Justify and 2016 3-year-old of the Year Arrogate above Pharoah.

Justify began racing in February and won his first race, at Santa Anita, by 9 1/2 lengths. It was just OK. He came back and he really wasn't that exhausted. "That was probably his best race".

A B.C. breeder's horse won the prestigious Kentucky Derby over the weekend.

"Him and American Pharoah and Arrogate, they're just cut from a different (cloth)", Baffert said. "The outrider had to help pull him up".

But pressed on whether the horse has what it takes to complete a Triple Crown sweep, Baffert adopted a more conservative mood. "I rank him up there with my top ones". Justify's performance in the Derby, where he beat a formidable field with room and energy to spare, only confirmed it. "I'm not thinking about that at all, not yet", he said. However, about the most you're going to make on such a bet is about $100 to every one dollar you bet - and that's in the rare event that an extra-long long-shot wins.

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