Justify-able boasting

US Senator Bernie Sanders’ suggestion that we Canadians need to learn to boast a bit is not as easy as it sounds.

Since winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, there have been any number of articles analyzing Justify’s bloodlines.  And since stellar members of his gene pool descend from Canada’s “Rivers of Gold,” I was pleased to read a US headline stating Justify’s lineage traces to an English Triple Crown winner.

I, of course, thought they were referring to Nijinsky.

Nijinsky winning
1970 St Leger

Our magnificent Canadian-bred colt won the English Triple Crown in 1970 and was the first horse to win the three races since Bahram in 1935.  No horse has duplicated the feat since Nijinsky.

But no, the analyst was not referring to Canada’s Nijinsky.  Instead, a horse named Common, English Triple Crown winner in 1891.  In the late 1800’s American horseman, James R. Keene purchased a mare, Sundown, in foal to Common, and that it is in the far reaches of Justify’s lineage.

Nijinsky can be found three times in Justify’s family tree….  now, that’s royal lineage… and, for Justify, clearly something to make him proud.


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