He seemed to have recovered nicely from a hoof bruise after The Derby, but the Belmont's mile and a half can expose even the most bulletproof of horses.
This time out Justify will face 9 other horses trying to keep him from sweeping the Triple Crown.
"This horse ran a tremendous race", Smith said.
That said, if any horse can overcome two muddy tracks and a third field stacked with talent some of whom are running on fresh legs, it's Justify. He quickly decided that in nearly 40 years as a jockey, he'd never ridden a more gifted 3-year-old.
Of course, the race that Baffert and Smith really want to win is the Belmont Stakes.
Fans are streaming into Belmont Park in anticipation of watching Justify try to become horse racing's 13th Triple Crown victor and second since 2015.
Bob Baffert-trained Justify arrived in town on Wednesday ahead of his attempt to become the 13th horse to complete the triple crown, and the second in four years, after American Pharoah in 2015.
Baffert sensed he had a "monster" on his hands the first time he breezed the colt in January.
At age 52, jockey Mike Smith became the oldest rider to win the Triple Crown.
Here's what we know about how much money the Belmont Stakes winners get - and how much Justify and his owners take home with the Triple Crown. "I don't see why not go to the Belmont, as long as he stays like this". The son of Scat Daddy had earned 100 points in the Santa Anita Derby, more than enough to advance to the Kentucky Derby.
The Belmont is known as the "Test of the Champion" for good reason: it's the first and likely last time these 3-year-old colts will be running 1 ½ miles.