The dream for a Triple Crown winner will have to wait at least one more year. Despite 36 years of anticipation, California Chrome was unable to add his name to the list of horses to win the Triple Crown of racing, instead he becomes the 13th horse to win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness and fail to capture the Belmont Stakes. Tonalist, sent to the gate at odds of 9/1, won the 2014 Belmont Stakes to deny California Chrome the Triple Crown.
Affirmed is still the last horse to sweep the three-race series after he beat his rival Alydar during the 1978 Triple Crown season.
California Chrome appeared to break well but never found a good position in the early stages, racing behind the early speed, and then found some running to the outside of the leading trio as the field hit the far turn. But when it came time to run to the wire, the horse that pulled away at the top of the stretch in his six races before the Belmont, had little left in the tank to run to the front. Fading in the stretch, California Chrome finished in a dead-heat with Wicked Strong for fourth.
As expected, California Chrome took tons of actions from the betting public, going to the post as the heavy, odds-on 4/5 favorite, his odds drifting up slightly from his morning line of 3/5. Despite the backing of the majority of the gamblers and casual fans, Triple Crown glory wasn't meant to be.
UPDATE: California Chrome didn't break as cleanly as it looked:
#belmontstakes California Chrome injured in loss. He grabbed a quarter— Ron Mitchell (@BH_RMitchell) June 7, 2014
California Chrome behind closed doors in his barn. They're looking at his right front hoof, where he apparently kicked himself at the start.— Eric Crawford (@ericcrawford) June 7, 2014
While that's not the way you want to start a mile and a half race, Chrome just wasn't good enough to win this race on this day, grabbed quarter or not. Chrome's had some gate issues in the past and they popped up again today. A horse needs to be perfect in three races to win the Triple Crown; there is no room for an "off day."
More on the Belmont later.
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|2012||I'll Have Another||Scratched|