SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Opening day for the Saratoga Race Course is just about a week away, but Thursday was all about the Triple Crown winner, Justify.
The Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce launched a campaign to get Justify to race in the 149th Travers Stakes on August 25.
They'll be using the hashtag #JustDefy, hoping it'll get the colt's trainer Bob Baffert and owners to bring the 3-year-old to the Spa City next month. A website has also been setup with a video and petition.
However, it's not looking good at the moment.
That's because Baffert announced this week Justify has been taken out of training due to swelling in his left front ankle. He says the colt will be reevaluated in two weeks.
If healthy, racing fans hope Justify will run and be the first Triple Crown horse to win the Travers in 77 years.
"The city's motto is ‘health, history and horses.’ Health comes first," said Todd Shimkus, the president of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce. "We absolutely always want to make sure if he's going to race again that he's healthy to do that and we totally believe Bob Baffert and the entire team are going to make a judgement on whether he's healthy or not."
In 2015, a similar campaign was launched to get American Pharaoh to come Saratoga Springs. That effort was successful, but American Pharoah lost in the Travers.