Tonalist Wins Belmont Stakes; California Chrome 4th
Tonalist sprinted down the stretch and beat Commissioner by a nose to win the thrilling 146th Belmont Stakes in New York on Saturday. Favored California Chrome finished tied with Wicked Strong for fourth and failed to become horse racing’s first Triple Crown winner since 1978.
Medal Count finished third in the 11-horse field.
A staggering 4-5 favorite heading into the race, California Chrome and jockey Victor Espinoza were caught in the field coming into the final turn and could not finish strong enough to win.
Starting from the second slot in the gate, California Chrome was attempting to become the first horse to sweep the Triple Crown events – the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness and Belmont Stakes — since Affirmed in 1978. Instead, the Art Sherman-trained horse became the 13th challenger in the past 36 years to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown, yet fail to capture Belmont.
California Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn was upset after the race, calling the practice of horses not running in the first two Triple Crown races, but running the Belmont “the coward’s way out.” Belmont winner Tonalist did not run the Kentucky Derby or Preakness.
Jockey Joel Rosario led Tonalist around the 1.5-mile track in a winning time of 2:28.52. The horse paid $20.40 to win, $9.60 to place and $7 to show.
Commissioner paid $23.20 to place and $13.20 to show, while Medal Count paid $13.20 to show.
Watch a replay of the 2014 Belmont Stakes below: