Preakness Stakes 2018: Could Injury to favorite Justify derail Triple Crown run?
An injury to the Kentucky Derby favorite's hind leg could open the door for other colts
Justify is a monster 1-2 favorite in the 2018 Preakness Stakes after he blazed through the Kentucky Derby on an off-track. Next up is the second leg of the Triple Crown at Pimlico on Saturday at 6:48 p.m. ET. However, an injury to his hind leg could put a wrench into the 2018 Preakness.
Hank Goldberg, a legendary prognosticator and current CBS Sports expert, said that following the Kentucky Derby, Justify was given a patch to protect a bruised hind leg.
"It looked like his two hind legs were a little out of sync," Goldberg said. "He might have a quarter crack and they put a patch over it, but a quarter crack could cause an infection. It would feel like his hoof is in a pressure cooker if he ran in the slop and got something lodged underneath it. There's enough suspicion there."
Suspicion has even come from other trainers. Chad Brown, trainer of Good Magic (3-1), first started thinking about running his horse in the Preakness the day after he saw Justify limping after the Derby, according to Goldberg.
Good Magic, like Justify, ran well on the off-track at Churchill Downs and could see similar conditions on Saturday in Baltimore given rain in the forecast on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning. If Justify's injury flares up, Good Magic could be galloping towards the finish line with a win in tow.
Goldberg also pointed out that a person who works with Lone Sailor (25-1) also watched Justify's hind legs following the Derby and said they weren't in sync.
It might not be all doom-and-gloom for Justify, though. His workout on Thursday morning "looked good," according to Goldberg. "He had an easy workout and his hind legs were in sync."
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who has more Preakness wins than anyone and will come armed with Bravazo and Sporting Chance, also said Justify "looked good" in practice.
Still, a sloppy track like the one we'll likely see at Pimlico Race Course could complicate the injury.
"If Justify goes into the race on a sloppy track and had the injury just two weeks ago, it would be something to worry about," Goldberg said.
In the end, though, Goldberg trusts legendary trainer Bob Baffert. "Nobody gets a horse ready after a two-week layoff than Bob Baffert," Goldberg said. "I trust Baffert implicitly. He's not worried about it. He wouldn't risk the horse if it were something serious."
The Preakness will be Justify's fifth race in two months. Goldberg thinks the favorite could get bet down to 1-5 odds come race day.
So what are Hammerin' Hank Goldberg's 2018 Preakness picks? Is Goldberg all-in on Justify? And what massive long shot should you back? Visit SportsLine to see Goldberg's picks for the Preakness, and find out.
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