Justify became the 13th Triple Crown champion with Saturday's 13/4-length victory in the Belmont Stakes that improved him to 6-0 lifetime. The early progress of longshot Restoring Hope appeared to cross the line into discouraging other horses from troubling the early rhythms of Justify, his Bob Baffert stablemate.
While saying Justify was the deserving victor, Repole told reporter Tom Pedula he felt like Restoring Hope, a 37-1 shot, ran interference for Justify against other horses in the race.
Repole owns fourth-place finisher Vino Rosso with fellow New Yorker Vinnie Viola. Seattle Slew was unbeaten when he won the Triple Crown in 1977.
"I'd never thought I'd be this close to the most famous race horse in the world", King said.
"I don't see how (Restoring Hope) got in anyone's way", the jockey told CNN Sport's Don Riddell.
Asked Saturday after the race about the idea of using Restoring Hope as a "wing man" out of the gates for Justify, Baffert downplayed it.
Justify's hall-of-fame trainer Bob Baffert said the win was meant to be. But now what? Has another "savior" of horse racing come and gone?
On a fast, dry track, Justify was just as good in his third race in five weeks at his third different track.
"He's even more magnificent than I thought he'd be".
"I didn't want to break, get the horse covered up and then the horse starts getting aggressive behind horses. I probably expect them to look into reckless riding by Florent and bring him in to question him about what he was thinking and what his tactics were". Maybe the horse was completely out of control and Florent had no choice.
According to NY state gaming commission regulations: 'If any horses trained by the same trainer race uncoupled in any race, and one or more of them shall be disqualified for violation of the rules of racing, any other horses entered by that same trainer shall also be disqualified if in the judgment of the stewards such violation prevented any other horse or horses from finishing ahead of the other part of the entry.
"Opinions die", Baffert said.
Baffert, who also trained 2015 Triple Crown victor American Pharoah, defended the strategy of having Restoring Hope keep the pace. "If he had a 5-percent chance to win, he had to be up near the lead".
Steve Lewandowski, the New York Gaming Commission steward, said Sunday that there is no plan to talk to Geroux.