Horse racing-Derby winner Justify will go for Preakness title

May 6 (Reuters) - Kentucky Derby winner Justify will race in this month's Preakness Stakes as he takes another step toward a possible U.S. thoroughbred racing Triple Crown, his trainer said on Sunday.

The lightly raced chestnut colt came out of Saturday's Derby victory in excellent form, Bob Baffert told reporters at Churchill Downs.

"It looks like it was nothing for him,” Baffert said.

The Preakness, the second leg in the Triple Crown, is set for May 19 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

The series concludes with the Belmont Stakes on June 9 in New York.

Justify, who won the Derby by 2-1/2 lengths over Good Magic in the rain, immediately became the heavy favorite for the mile and three-sixteenths Preakness race.

"If he stays healthy and he looks good, I think he’s just getting it now,” Baffert told the Baltimore Sun when asked about Justify’s chances. “He knows he’s a stud."

RELATED: Scenes from the 144th Kentucky Derby

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Scenes from the 144th Kentucky Derby
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Scenes from the 144th Kentucky Derby
May 5, 2018; Louisville, KY, USA; A general view of roses in the infield before the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
May 5, 2018; Louisville, KY, USA; Horses make their way around the first turn during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
May 5, 2018; Louisville, KY, USA; Mike Smith aboard Justify (7) beats Javier Castellano aboard Audible (5) to the finish line to win the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 05: Justify #7, ridden by jockey Mike Smith crosses the finish line to win the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 05: Men in fancy patterned suits cheer with their Mint Juleps on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Mary Meek/Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 05: Justify #7, ridden by jockey Mike Smith crosses the finish line to win the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 05: Jockey Mike Smith celebrates atop of Justify #7 after winning the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 05: Jockey Mike Smith celebrates atop of Justify #7 after winning the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
May 5, 2018; Louisville, KY, USA; From left Paige Rogers , Josephine Whan and Soohuen Whan take shelter from the rain under a tarp during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
May 5, 2018; Louisville, KY, USA; A general view from the infield during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 05: A view of the Churchill Downs race track during Kentucky Derby 144 on May 5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Chruchill Downs)
May 5, 2018; Louisville, KY, USA; Women in derby attire wear plastic bags to seek shelter from the rain during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Mandatory Credit: Jim Owens-USA TODAY Sports
May 5, 2018; Louisville, KY, USA; Rain falls before the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Mandatory Credit: Jim Owens-USA TODAY Sports
May 5, 2018; Louisville, KY, USA; Lora Coomes wears a derby hat during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Mandatory Credit: Jim Owens-USA TODAY Sports
May 5, 2018; Louisville, KY, USA; Mike Smith aboard Justify (7) in the winner's circle during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 05: Jockey Mike Smith celebrates with trainer Bob Baffert after winning the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Whether Good Magic will challenge him remains unclear.

“I don’t know,” trainer Chad Brown said. "The horse is sound. He looks good, but I just have to observe him. … I want to get the horse back home and evaluate his energy level. We’ve just got to go from there.”

Justify became first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the 'Run for the Roses' without a start as a two-year-old.

The victory was the fifth at the Derby for Baffert, who also trained 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

"Him and American Pharoah and Arrogate, these horse are cut different ... I rank him up there with my top ones," Baffert said. (Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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