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California Chrome Misses Triple Crown With Fourth-Place Finish At Belmont (VIDEO)

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Al Bello via Getty Images
Al Bello via Getty Images

The wait continues.

The Triple Crown drought continues as California Chrome failed to win the Belmont Stakes. After winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, California Chrome couldn't finished the sweep of the Triple Crown races as Tonalist emerged as the surprise winner at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday in New York.

Looking to become the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to win horse racing's Triple Crown, California Chrome was the 4-5 favorite but finished in a tie for fourth-place with Wicked Strong, 1 3-4 lengths behind the winning horse. Commissioner finished second, by a nose, and Medal Count placed third in the 146th running of the Belmont Stakes. California Chrome became the 13th horse since Affirmed's victory to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown only to come up short in the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes.

WATCH FULL RACE REPLAY ABOVE

With jockey Victor Espinoza again in the saddle, Chrome got a clean start from the second gate and settled behind early leaders Commissioner and General A Rod. Tonalist and Medal Count would move ahead of California Chrome before the far turn. Espinoza then took Chrome wide for a final push for history but they could not find the closing burst that had sealed victories at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

"As soon as he came out of the gate, he wasn't the same," Espinoza said, via The Associated Press.

While Chrome may have been drained by the grueling Triple Crown circuit, Belmont winner Tonalist was well rested when the race began, having not run since the Peter Pan Stakes on May 10. After the race on Saturday, California Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn was fuming that horses who did not participate in all legs of the Triple Crown are permitted to compete against those who have made the trek from Churchill Downs to Pimlico and finally on to Belmont Park.

"It's all or nothing," Coburn said. "It's all or nothing because this is not fair to these horses that are running their guts out for these people and for the people who believe in them. This is a cowards' way out, in my opinion. This is the cowards' way out."

 
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