A Cinderella story came to a stunning end on Saturday, when California Chrome missed the chance to become the first horse to win the Triple Crown since 1978.
California Chrome tied for fourth place with Wicked Strong, falling in behind Tonalist in first, followed by Commissioner and Medal Count at the 146th running of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday at Belmont Park.
Tonalist ran the mile and a half track in 2:28.52.
“As soon as he came out of the gate, I could tell he wasn’t the same,” said Chrome jockey Victor Espinoza said.
This was the second time Espinoza has missed out on a Triple Crown, having rode War Emblem in the race in 2002. The horse stumbled and came in eighth.
Speaking after the race, Chrome’s co-owner Steve Coburn complained that horses that sit out the Kentucky Derby or Preakness in order to run the Belmont fresh.
“It’s all or nothing. This is not fair to these horses and to the people that believe in them. This is the coward’s way out,” Coburn said.
As Carol reported this morning, California Chrome was a popular favorite. He’s a horse of the people with little pedigree and an odd gait that should have held him back.