Ankle issue makes Justify's future uncertain


The racing future of Triple Crown winner Justify is on hold and very much in doubt.

The 3-year-old colt is set to be evaluated for some filling in his left front ankle according to a statement released by his connections Tuesday afternoon.

"Justify had some filling in his left front ankle a week ago, which subsided in a couple days," his Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said in the statement. "I trained him last week and the filling came back. We want to get him checked out."

Baffert did not immediately return a message left on his cellphone.

Neither did Elliott Walden, the president, CEO and racing manager at WinStar Farm, the majority owner of Justify.

The colt is also owned by the China Horse Group, Head of Plains Partners and Starlight Racing.

Walden said in the statement that any future plans for Justify's racing career will be decided after the colt gets evaluated.

"He is too special to the owners, our team and all the fans he has around the world to not be 100 percent healthy," Walden said. "He is an amazing horse and we are blessed by his presence."

After Justify won the Belmont, Walden said the decision on what was next for the colt would be up to Baffert.

The trainer never mapped out a summer schedule for the horse, but races that would be under consideration if the horse was healthy would be the $1 million Haskell at Monmouth Park on July 29 and the $1.25 million Travers at Saratoga Race Course on Aug. 25.

Because the horse has not worked in over a month, and, with the announcement of the evaluation, the Haskell is definitely out.

It would seem that the Travers would be a long shot as well. 

The breeding rights for Justify have been reportedly sold to Coolmore Stud in Versailles, Ky., for between $60 and $75 million.

Walden has refused to comment on that. WinStar is also located in Versailles.


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