California Chrome had a nice run at the 2014 Triple Crown, but could not finish off a clean sweep by taking the 2014 Belmont Stakes. Instead, Tonalist took first place in the 146th Belmont Stakes and robbed California Chrome of it’s bid to end a 35-year drought in horse racing’s most prestigious event.
The audience screamed “Go, Chrome, Go” leading into the race and looked on as a seemingly sluggish California Chrome battled for fourth place down the stretch.
It was Tonalist that had the glory in the end, as the horse fended off Commissioner for the win. Medal Count took third place.
Tonalist was somewhat of a dark horse (no pun intended) to make a run at California Chrome’s crown, as it had gained some steam following a victory at the Peter Pan Stakes last month. That race was naturally held at Belmont, which could have given Tonalist a slight edge going into the race.
While many will be praising Tonalist for the big win, the latest Triple Crown will largely be looked at as a disappointment. California Chrome was the 12th horse to have a chance to claim a clean sweep of the Triple Crown since Affirmed last did it back in 1978. Chrome was just one of 12 other horses that had gone on to earn a first place nod in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, but couldn’t finish the job at Belmont.
Steve Colburn, the owner of California Chrome, was openly upset following the race, noting his horse “didn’t have it in him” to get the win. Colburn also expressed disdain for horses participating in the Triple Crown’s final race without participating in the previous two races.
California Chrome entered the Belmont Stakes as the clear favorite, but was expected to face stiff competition from the likes of Tonalist, Ride on Curlin and Commanding Curve. In the end, it was Tonalist that took the first place prize, an estimated $800,000.
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