Private aviation company to sponsor Justify in Belmont race


Ridden by Mike Smith and trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Justify has run only five races in his career and will be tested by some fresher horses in the Belmont Stakes, which has often ended the dreams of many Triple Crown hopefuls.

The call signals jockeys to climb onto the saddle in the paddock about 10 minutes before post time. So we're just going to deal with it. The last to win from there was Empire Maker in 2003 when he spoiled Funny Cide's Triple Crown bid. The brand's logo was on the trousers of Victor Espinoza when he rode American Pharoah to the Triple Crown in 2015. Vino Rosso and Preakness runner-up Bravazo both were installed at 8-1.

The unflappable colt has already erased the "curse of Apollo", winning the 144th Kentucky Derby despite having never run as a 2-year-old, and secured the Preakness despite a thick fog and sloppy conditions.

Baffert is seeking a second Triple Crown victory in four years.

"We can not think of a better brand than Wheels Up to partner with a horse like Justify", said Leverage CEO Ben Sturner, whose agency also handled the sponsorship of American Pharoah in 2015.

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Wearing a Mets jersey with his name on the back, Baffert tossed out a ceremonial first pitch at Citi Field before the Mets hosted the Orioles.

Justify will line up with nine horses to his right as part of a field that includes five horses he beat during a rain-soaked Kentucky Derby and two he beat at a wet and foggy Preakness Stakes. Bravazo came back with a second-place finish in the Preakness.

In the draw for post positions on Tuesday, Justify drew the No. 1 gate for the race at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

The only other horse at shorter odds than 12-1 in the morning-line odds is Noble Indy.