History was almost made today at the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, NY when 3-5 favorite California Chrome raced for the Triple Crown Championship. The Triple Crown win has not been accomplished since 1978, a whole thirty-six years ago. It seems the draught will live on though with California Chrome earning fourth place in a dead heat with Wicked Strong. Approximately, only a dozen horses have even made it to the Belmont Stakes, after winning both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, and won.
Zealous fans arrived in masses to the Belmont Stakes to cheer on the underdog whose owners were initially called, “dumbasses” for purchasing a mare who showed no indication of being able to produce a champion offspring. Fans also showed their support by wearing purple nose pieces, being sold 2 for $5, that matched California Chromes own breath-assisting nasal strip, which he was permitted to wear in the high stakes, high pressure race.
You could just hear the disappointment of the crowd when the California bred chestnut colt and 42 year old jockey Victor Espinoza from Vera Cruz, Mexico crossed the finish line in a fourth place tie. California Chrome, who had ran in the previous races, unlike some of his competitors, could not hold it out on the longer mile-and-a-half Belmont track.
The ending results of the race were as follows, Tonalist won first place, Commissioner won second, Medal Count came in third, and California Chrome and Wicked Strong both won a dead heat in fourth.
The last time Belmont almost saw Triple Crown glory was back in 2002 when I’ll Have Another could not perform in the race due to injury.