Brow Beat

Horse Wins!

Justify, ridden by Mike Smith, running the Belmont Stakes.
A horse, winning.
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Justify, who is a horse, won the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, the the New York Times reports. The victory means Justify is also a Triple Crown winner, having won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes earlier in the year. Justify is only the 13th horse to win the Triple Crown in history, and only the second since 1978. Until American Pharoah won in 2015, people were arguing (in the pages of Slate, even) that no horse would ever win that big again, but American Pharoah showed the country it was still possible for a horse to win big, and now, three scant years later, a horse has won big again.

Justify was ridden by Mike Smith, who is not a horse, and trained by Bob Baffert, who is also not a horse, but that minimal human involvement should not overshadow how much this horse has won. He ran faster than all the other horses, covering the race’s mile and a half in two minutes and 28 seconds. He also ran faster than all the humans—and not just all the humans competing in the Belmont Stakes this year! The current world record for human running is Hicham El Guerrouj’s 3:43.13 mile. That’s right: El Guerrouj took more than a minute longer to run a shorter distance, and most sources indicate that he was not carrying a horse on his back at the time. Advantage: horse!

Saturday’s other winning horses include Gronkowski, who won second place, and Hofburg, who won third. And horses might not be done winning yet. Justify now has a chance at winning the Grand Slam of Thoroughbred Racing if he wins the Breeders’ Cup Classic this season, a feat only American Pharoah has ever managed before. Even more importantly, without language or opposable thumbs, horses are unlikely to develop nuclear weapons or give humans like Donald Trump or his horse equivalent the power to use them. Justify’s thrilling victory is just another sign that horses are winning so much, at every level, that they’re probably getting tired of winning.