Belmont Stakes Controversy Shrouds Justify’s Win

A lot of questions are waiting for answers after Justify’s win of the Belmont Stakes 2018. The questions loom over the actions of Restoring Hope and Noble Indy and whether they have in any way affected Justify’s win. Was Restoring Hope ridden to win or to aid Justify’s win? If it wasn’t ridden to win, are the fans who have used their apps for betting on this event and the horse racing world, in general, okay with that? 

What Was the Role of Restoring Hope and Noble Indy in the Race?

A lot of handicappers agree that Noble Indy could easily have pushed Justify through the early fractions and put a question mark over his Triple Crown Belmont win. However, the interesting thing is that WinStar farm is the managing partner of Justify but also owns some shares of Noble Indy.

The WinStar would probably not want to harm itself; however, Noble Indy was ridden by Mike Repole who stated that he would love to win the Belmont Stakes. He said he would not only like to win but also help Vino Rosso, which is another horse in the team.

What’s the Deal with Restoring Hope’s Ride?

If you take a look at the track replay online, you can see that Restoring Hope rode aggressively to get to the front. He found a hole between Tenfold and Bravazo. However, when he got in the lead, he shied to the right and the other nine horses went to the left.

When he went past Noble Indy, he pushed him to the right to attempt to avoid him. This way, Noble Indy was slowed down and could not get to Justify. Moreover, you can see that, in the turn, when Bravazo had Justify to his left and Restoring to his right, Restoring Hope was pulled to the left instead of letting the horse naturally catch up with the Justify by following the bend. This is a very uncommon move in horse racing.

The Audience Is Unfazed

Even though we can act surprised by what happened, the reality is that such actions are more and more common. The horse racing audience doesn’t seem baffled by Restoring Hope entering the race just to help Justify win his triple crown. This practice has not been common in big races so far but in the past horses were used as rabbits to set a strong early pace and ensure a win for a horse from the same stable.

What Do the Horse Racing Rules Say?

The New York rules and regulations on horse racing are clear and state that all horses are expected to give their best to win the race. All actions of jockeys that would serve a different purpose than winning are forbidden and will earn disciplinary action.

The question is, was the 2018 Belmont Stakes ridden in accord with the rules? The state stewards should answer that question. However, Steve Lewandowski, who is a steward of the New York Gaming Commission, did not show any interest in this subject.

Manchester United Ready to Walk Away from Alderweireld Deal

Manchester United is determined not to give in to the pressures of Tottenham and pay the outrageous price for the Belgian center-back Toby Alderweireld. They are set to have him, but they will not hesitate to walk away from the whole deal unless a common ground can be found.

The negotiations between Manchester United and Tottenham regarding the 29-year-old Alderweireld have been going to for several weeks now. The player is more than willing to pack his bags and move to Old Trafford. However, the price is a major point of discord.

The Numbers at Stake

Some reports have shown that United is offering around $55m for the center-back. However, that doesn’t come anywhere near what Tottenham is asking. Tottenham believes Toby Alderweireld should be valued around $75m, which is a figure they came up with from the Virgil van Dijk transfer from Southampton to Liverpool last January.

Manchester United has made it clear that the offer on the table is unrealistic and that they will not go through with it. They have informed Tottenham’s chairman Daniel Levy that they are ready to walk away and consider other options unless some kind of an understanding can be made.

A Little Backstory

However, the whole story by Manchester United may as well just be a bluff. The reason for this is that United are well-aware that Toby Alderweireld has refused to sign a new contract with Tottenham and is determined to switch colors. Therefore, Tottenham doesn’t have much choice but to sell him and United believes they can dictate the price.

Moreover, there is a certain clause in his contract that stipulates he can leave Tottenham for as little as $25m in summer 2019. So, it seems to us that we have definitely not seen the end of this story and that further developments are more than realistic.

Should Tottenham Sell Alderweireld?

Without a doubt, Toby Alderweireld is one of the most valuable players that Tottenham has and one of the more accomplished ones in the Premier League. However, can Tottenham benefit by selling him? According to Jermaine Jenas, yes. He has lost his team in the Spurs in the last couple of months, so they can profit from him this way.

Jermain Jenas added that he believed Alderweireld was a phenomenal player and an important addition to the Spurs. However, as he is nearing his 30th birthday, he might be falling off the track, especially as Daniel Levy prefers younger players on his team.

At the same time, Tottenham has not been able to get Manchester United to sell them Anthony Martial, whom Mauricio Pochettino, Spurs manager, has his eyes fixed on. United is reluctant to sell him to their biggest Premier League opponent.