IMAGES | Triple Crown winner Justify returns to Churchill Downs for a victory lap
Churchill Downs posted new signs on trainer Bob Baffert's barn 33 that identify Justify as the 2018 Triple Crown winner.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Triple Crown winner Justify returned to Churchill Downs Monday afternoon.
"Good to see the king come back," said John Asher, Churchill Downs Vice President Racing Communications.
The colt arrived in Louisville on a special chartered flight that lands at Louisville International Airport. The airport planned to have water cannons spraying in arcs across the tarmac, as the newly-crowned champion arrived.
Preparations at Churchill Downs include posting new signs on trainer Bob Baffert's barn 33 that identify Justify as the 2018 Triple Crown winner just below the 2015 sign for American Pharoah.
"Well, here we are, back at Churchill," said Jimmy Barnes, Justify's assistant trainer. "You know, we based here, so we have a lot of fans here and we are always very happy to come back here."
Justify and jockey Mike Smith won the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, the third jewel of horse racing's Triple Crown. The three-year old is unbeaten in his six races, which included wins in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.
Fifty-two-year-old Smith is now the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown.
Justify is expected to be at Churchill Downs for about a week before flying to California and Baffert's base at Santa Anita.
We asked Barnes how Justify will spend his time at Churchill. He said, "He'll probably just be taking it easy. He'll walk for at least the next two to three days, as long as he'll allow us to. Then we'll see which direction we need to head as far as training wise."
The horse is expected to make an appearance at Saturday's night racing event for the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs where his owners will be presented with the engraved Kentucky Derby trophy.
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