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The horses, a rumor of thundering hoofs and distant roars disappearing into the fog at the first turn, made an invisible loop around Pimlico Race Course’s liquid track, then suddenly reappeared out of the gauzy mist and came heaving and splashing down the homestretch. Out in front was the strapping chestnut colt named Justify, his white blaze the first thing to come into view. But behind him — and keeping pace, if not gaining — was a pack of rivals.

As he has across the entirety of his brief and meteoric career, Justify answered the challenge and prevailed Saturday, winning the 143rd Preakness Stakes and keeping alive his Triple Crown hopes.

Tested like never before, Justify, an overwhelming 2-5 favorite, ran neck-and-neck with rival Good Magic for much of the race, seized the lead coming out of the last turn and held off late-charging Bravazo down the stretch for a half-length victory, the smallest by far of his five career wins. Tenfold also closed hard and finished third by a neck. Good Magic faded to fourth.

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Justify, with jockey Mike Smith aboard, holds off second-place Bravazo (8) and Tenfold (6) to capture the Preakness, giving him the first two legs of the Triple Crown. (Amber Searls/USA Today Sports)

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/justify-wins-143rd-preakness-stakes-to-move-within-one-leg-of-triple-crown/2018/05/19/ee114af6-5b9c-11e8-8836-a4a123c359ab_story.html?utm_term=.25f027b65541

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