With a Belmont Stakes victory, Justify became the 13th racehorse in the sport’s history to win the Triple Crown. He ran the mile-and-a-half track in just 2:28.18, and lived up to his status as the race’s favorite, out-legging Gronkowski by 1¾ lengths. As he crossed the finish line, he was announced as “immortal”.
The aftermath of the race has put Justify in the spotlight more than the race itself. As is the case for most sports champions, Justify was invited to the White House to meet and be personally congratulated by President Donald Trump. The racehorse made headlines by declining the President’s invitation.
In his post-race interview, Justify was asked about the prospect of being invited to travel to the nation’s capital to meet the President. The Triple Crown winner was concise giving his response, simply stating “nay”.
The statement drove the media into a frenzy, leading news networks such as CNN, FOX, CBS, and NBC to question the political implications of the horse’s imminent invitation-decline. Outlandish headlines surfaced, painting the horse in a light that would lead one to believe he could understand human politics. Some of the headlines are as follows.
CNN: Despite Non-Human Legs, Justify Takes a Proverbial Knee Against President Trump
Tomi Lahren: Justify Outed as Triggered Snowflake, Declines White House Invitation
BuzzFeed: 10 ways Justify was all of us by saying no to Trump
INFOWARS: Justify is only a good racer because he’s used to running from guns
The post-Championship White House visit has been a common controversy recently, as stories have arose with the Philadelphia Eagles, Golden State Warriors, and now Justify. For now though, we should celebrate Justify as an incredible racehorse, not America’s ambassador to the world’s horse population (though the USA is devoid of equine communications).
Justify is the first horse since Nyquist to stir up such controversy in the media. This does not, however, exclude him from the elite fraternity of horse racing Triple Crown winners that he just joined. Whatever his political stance, Justify will go down as one of the greatest racehorses of all time.