Ahmed Zayat must have thought Justin Phillip would be extra special because he named the handsome colt after one of his sons. And he was so right. The promise he showed while strutting his stuff at the 2009 Keeneland September sale was further displayed as he neared his career debut. He was so highly regarded that he was the favorite for his first start. Although he finished second, he made amends in his second outing by sailing to victory. Justin Phillip was pegged as a candidate for the Kentucky Derby early in his three-year-old season before being redirected after subpar efforts in the prep races. However, he still was a star on the undercard of the Triple Crown’s third jewel when he won the Woody Stephens Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park. Then he went winless for nearly a year but his connections still believed in him. After a confidence-boosting triumph away from stakes company, Justin Phillip excelled. He came oh so close to gaining his first Grade 1 victory at Saratoga Race Course during his four-year-old campaign in 2012. His runner-up effort raised his people’s confidence so much that they entered him in the 2012 Xpressbet Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) in which he finished a respectable fifth. Durable and game, the bay horse became a Grade 1 winner and millionaire in his 29th start when he took the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1), the race he nearly won the previous year.