Did Justify get help from another Bob Baffert horse?
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Triple Crown winner Justify’s victory Saturday in the Belmont Stakes came under scrutiny Sunday.
The New York Post reported jockey Florent Geroux’s actions aboard Restoring Hope have been questioned by Mike Repole, the co-owner of fourth-place Vino Rosso and last-place Noble Indy. Restoring Hope is Justify’s stablemate under Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.
‘‘Justify is a super horse,’’ Repole told the Post. ‘‘He is a Triple Crown winner, and he’s undefeated. But I can see the stewards looking into this. I probably expect them to look into reckless riding by Florent and bring him in to question him about what he was thinking and what his tactics were. It definitely seemed to me [Restoring Hope] was more of an offensive lineman than a racehorse trying to win the Belmont and Justify was a running back trying to run for a touchdown.’’
Restoring Hope owner Gary West wasn’t happy with the handling of his horse.
‘‘I have no earthly idea what Florent was thinking or what his race strategy was,’’ West said in an email response to a request for an interview with the Post. ‘‘Had I known better, the first eighth of a mile I would have thought it was a quarter-horse race, not the mile-and-a-half Belmont. Maybe the horse was completely out of control and Florent had no choice. I will never know.’’