Mike Repole tells the New York Post that he thinks a longshot by the name of Restoring Hope essentially blocked for Justify during a portion of the race, and he hopes racing officials investigate. If jockey Florent Geroux thought he was in jeopardy of being squeezed out of the first flight aboard Restoring Hope, that could provide cover for his whoop-dee-do aggression. "When he broke a step slow - he's kind of an aggressive horse to ride, he pulls very hard - I wanted to make sure I put him in the clear", Geroux said.
"He was showing me the same signs (as American Pharoah)", Baffert said of Justify. "We got Jimmy Barnes, probably if they had an assistant trainer's Hall of Fame, he'd be the first one inducted".
Baffert - who has won more Triple Crown races than anyone - complimented his team for helping the horse, which ran three major, testing races in five weeks.
The eighth-place finisher cut back and forth during the race, cutting off Noble Indy and altering the positions of several other horses while never really challenging Justify for the lead.
If there was collusion between the Baffert-trained horses, Restoring Hope owner Gary West was not in on the plan.
It was the largest Belmont field ever beaten by a Triple Crown victor. Maybe the horse was completely out of control and Florent had no choice.
After he banked a $15 million purse for winning the Belmont Stakes, Justify's breeding rights were sold by the horse's owners to Coolmore for $60 million, according to an ESPN report. Baffert came into the year with 12 Triple Crown race wins before tying James "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons for second place with Justify's victory at the Kentucky Derby and then tying Lukas last month the Preakness.
Steve Lewandowski, the New York Gaming Commission steward, said there was no plan to question Geroux, the Daily Racing Form reported.