"Gamblers tend to get caught up in the chase for the Triple Crown, and historically we tend to see the majority of the action at the Preakness fall on the victor of the Kentucky Derby".
When Smith looked over his shoulder early and saw Good Magic he thought, "Oh man, it's going to be a match race from this point on", and Justify held up to the challenge down the backstretch and late as Bravazo and Tenfold chased him down.
Justify is the favorite at 1-2 and will break from the seventh post while Good Magic, who drew the fifth post, is the second pick at 3-1.
When the horses finally emerged into view, Justify had been through a full mile of a head-to-head duel with Good Magic, a battle that clearly exhausted both horses.
"That was a nail-biter".
"Nobody gets a horse ready after a two-week layoff than Bob Baffert", Goldberg explained on CBS Sports. "He's just a great horse to handle all that pressure and keep on running".
Jockey Mike Smith, 52, became the oldest jockey to win the Preakness. He admitted his horse grew tired by the battle with Good Magic.
"I'm so happy that we got it done. This was his hardest race that he's had", Smith said.
Elliott Walden, president of racing operations for co-owner WinStar Farms, said when the horses disappeared it seemed like an eternity.
Justify crosses the wire ahead of Bravazo and Tenfold in the Preakness. He won in 1:55.93, after leading at every quarter pole - three by a head, twice by a half-length.
A victory in the Belmont Stakes in NY on June 9 would earn trainer Bob Baffert his second US thoroughbred racing Triple Crown in four years after American Pharoah achieved the feat in 2015. According to OddsShark, Vegas was giving Justify 7 to 5 odds (+140) to win the Triple Crown, and 37 to 20 odds (-185) to come up short prior to the Preakness.
Justify was the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby having not run as a two-year-old, breaking the so-called "Curse of Apollo", a reference to the last horse to achieve the feat in 1882.
The track was so wet, Pimlico was forced to move five of the six scheduled grass races Saturday to dirt and worked around-the-clock in the days leading up to the Preakness to drain water off the course so that it wouldn't pool along the rail.