Justify Registers First Winner in Impressive Style
Tahoma (2c Justify x Madera Dancer, by Rahy) had given warning that he was ready to fire first out after registering a bullet last Monday and he didn’t disappoint with a two-length win to become Justify’s first winner on Sunday.
Racing over 4 ½ furlongs on the Santa Anita dirt, the colt entered a four-way duel for the lead almost from the start before dropping back to shadow the leaders while galloping easily. Around the turn, he entered the challenge for the lead again and was able to extend his stride once they hit the stretch.
The colt never felt the whip as he pulled away under gentle urging with the third placed runner over four lengths back.
Trained by Doug O’Neill for West Coast Stables, Tahoma was bred by Hunter Valley Farm, Fergus Galvin, and Golden Vale Farm.
“We had high expectations and we feel this colt has a lot of upside,” said Leandro Mora, O’Neill’s primary assistant. “This colt has a lot of ability and I feel really confident about his future. We’re proud to win with the very first (US) starter for Justify, very proud.”
He is a three-quarter brother to the Grade III winning Legends of War and three other winners from his dam’s four to race. Sold to Hunter Valley Farm for $410,000 while carrying this colt, Madera Dancer is a daughter of the stakes winning Maxxi Arte.
The only Triple Crown winner to retire undefeated, Justify has hit every milestone on a high note with his first crop selling for up to $1.56 million in sales rings around the world over the last two years.