The Belmont Stakes saw history making hopes dashed yet again on Saturday. Tonalist won the race, meaning California Chrome didn’t win that coveted Triple Crown. Tonalist was ridden by jockey Joel Rosario.
Hopes ran exceedingly high prior to the race, in hopes that California Chrome would become the first horse in 36 years to win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes for a sweep and the Triple Crown win.
ESPN racing expert Hank Goldberg told CNN earlier on Saturday, “I think we’re going to see history.”
California Chrome was favored to win the Belmont Stakes where a crowd of about 100,000 people watched in anticipation.
“I expect him to win,” co-owner Steve Coburn said prior to race time. “I really do.”
This was Mexican jockey Victor Espinoza’s second shot at winning the Triple Crown. Twelve years ago he captured the first two legs of the Triple Crown riding War Emblem. Sadly he stumbled out of the gate and never even threatened at the Belmont Stakes.
“Very few horses go in all three races and there are a lot of good horses in the field on Saturday that will be fresher,” Espinoza told CNN before the race Saturday. “That’s why it’s so, so tough.”
Tonalist is trained by Christophe Clement and owned by Lane Gold. Even though he has denied California Chrome a chance at making history, he still deserves his rightful place as the winner of the Belmont Stakes. Commissioner took second place at the Belmont Stakes with Medal Count coming in third. Sadly California Chrome placed fourth–a far cry from what was expected of the horse. His owner tweeted out a very sportsman-like message following today’s race.
— Lane Gold (@lanegold) June 7, 2014
Another chance has passed at seeing a Triple Crown winner, but who knows what next year will bring? California Chrome seemingly came out of nowhere this year and got a shot at making history at today’s Belmont Stakes. Who’s to say that can’t happen again in the near future?
Image via Wikimedia Commons