In the end, Justify was, in fact, that good. Yes, the race was slow (2:04.9 making it the slowest race of the last 20 years) but the early fractions were ridiculous and when every horse faded away, the big brown colt seemingly got stronger.
In the end the race probably wasn't as close at the 2 1/2 length final margin of victory suggested. It all seemed so easy for this linebacker of a horse.
But let's not gift him the Triple Crown just yet. While it's true the Preakness is not shaping up to offer much competition there's still the uncomfortable fact that this is a two-week turnaround, something the horse has never done. By all accounts he looked and acted great after the race but let's see what happens.
Then there's the Belmont, which figures to have several horses running that are rested from the Derby against a horse that will have raced in the interim. IF Justify is as good as many (including me) think he can be then he'll rise above. But winning the Triple Crown is HARD. And it's typically only done by really great horses.
Personally, on the betting front, my $20 win wager on Justify salvaged a pretty bad betting day. A day where I was agonizingly close on many bets, but ultimately came up short. I missed the Derby Superfecta due to Instilled Regard's out-of-nowhere 4th place ride (on another note, Drayden Van Dyke is going to be the top jockey in America in 5 or 6 years) and despite having Funny Duck and Justify in my pick 4, the winners of the other two races were on my 'first horse out' list because one must have a budget and you can't pick them all.
I also hit on one of the earlier stakes races, and the night before at Sam Houston I hit on a 14-1 shot live there betting him across the board.
I also hit the Oaks/Derby Double ($16.60) although I missed on the "chalk" Exacta in the Oaks and missed elsewhere.
All in all, with $100ish wagered I'm getting back about.....$100ish.
Sadly the Preakness will probably feature Justify as a 1/9 favorite, and you're unlikely to get much higher on Monomoy Girl if she runs in the Black Eyed Susan.
This means that the Preakness is going to be all about the exotics. I'll delve into how I'm planning to make a little bit of money on that later. Yes, I'll be keying on Justify.
Congrats also to The lady who turned $18 into $1.2 Million betting the Derby Day Pick 5 from Austin's Retama Park.