So, I’m kicking it in the Del Mar press box like a total baller because that’s what you do when you get a press credential and there are a ton of empty seats that no one will notice you have usurped (look it up), when I read a quote from Elliot Walden of WinStar Farm, owner of Justify. Walden said “Like American Pharoah, we can’t take the risk of running Justify as a four-year-old.” Oh, ok. Now I get it. It’s not OK for anyone to be annoyed that you are retiring Justify after six career races spanning four months because American Pharoah was retired at the end of his three-year-old season too, right? Never mind the fact that American Pharoah raced 11 times over two seasons. That reference to American Pharoah annoyed the crap out of me.
Let me be clear. I absolutely, 100% support the decision to retire Justify with or without an injury. As I said in a previous post, I would have retired Justify after the Belmont and maybe even with 100 yards to go in the Belmont. Literally, if I owned Justify and you were with me in the owners box at Belmont Park during the Belmont Stakes, you would have heard me yell “Come on Mike!!! Ride him Mike!!! Watch out for Gronkowski!!! Yes!!! He’s got it!!!! We are retiring him!!! Come on Mike!!!! Yes!!!! Ok he’s retired!!!!” Owners don’t owe anyone a damn thing (except for trainer and vet bills and what not). It’s hard to make a buck in this (or any) business, and Justify is worth a lot of bucks. My problem is with the mention of American Pharoah as an excuse and a deflection. This has nothing to do with American Pharoah. So leave him out of it and own it. No crime there.