The 2014 Triple Crown Recap
The waiting will continue. California Chrome is the latest top thoroughbred to miss out on the Triple Crown; after winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, California Chrome wound up in a dead heat for fourth at Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. Tonalist played the spoiler on this occasion, crossing the line in a relatively fast 2:28.52. Commissioner had the lead going into the home stretch before finishing a head behind Tonalist in second. Medal Count was third, one length back of the leader, while California Chrome and Wicked Strong split fourth place.
Although California Chrome was the heavy pre-race favorite going into the Belmont, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that he became the 12th horse in a row to come up short here in his Triple Crown bid. As co-owner Steve Coburn said after the race, and continued to say on the Sunday talk shows, Tonalist didn’t race at the Kentucky Derby or the Belmont. He did, however, race at Belmont Park on May 10 in the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes, where he again finished ahead of Commissioner.
It’ll be unfortunate if California Chrome is remembered more for failing at the Belmont (and for Coburn’s post-race comments) than for succeeding at the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. This California-bred chestnut colt came from humble beginnings and tore up the Triple Crown Trail, sweeping all three prep races at Santa Anita before taking the Derby ahead of Commanding Curve and Danza. Then it was more of the same in a much less competitive field at the Preakness, where California Chrome again stalked the pace and deftly put away Ride On Curlin and Social Inclusion.
California Chrome’s Triple Crown dream may be over, but the thoroughbred racing season continues. He’s got a minor foot injury coming out of the Belmont that will need a couple of weeks to heal, but after an additional six or seven weeks of rest, California Chrome will start preparing for the 2014 Breeders’ Cup World Championships – which just happen to take place at Santa Anita for the third year in a row.
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