90,327 fans packed Belmont Park to cheer for the chestnut colt who had captured the attention of the horse racing world by winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.
“I felt great, and that probably wouldn’t have happened 10 years ago or 20 years ago,” rider Mike Smith said. “I’d have been probably running through a wall or something.”
In sweeping the big three races for 3-year-olds, Smith becomes the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown.
It’s the pinnacle of a career that has seen him win more than 5,400 races, including a record 26 in the Breeders’ Cup, and now seven Triple Crown races. His mounts have earned more than $310 million.
When fans cheered for Smith on the way back to the winner’s circle, Smith calmly pointed to Justify.