With a chance to net the first Triple Crown in 36 years, California Chrome proved the naysayers right, finishing tied for fourth at the Belmont Stakes.
All along the question was:
Can he do it? pic.twitter.com/0IZakdiTk7— Belmont Stakes (@BelmontStakes) June 7, 2014
And the answer was no. But the excitement didn't end with California Chrome falling shy of the Triple Crown. In dramatic fashion, Tonalist (running at 9:1 odds) won the race by a whisker. Here's how close it was:
If you saw our handy dandy guide, you would know that along with the Belmont Breezes and white carnations, the Belmont Stakes as the capper to the Triple Crown has only produced 11 winners. Another dozen, plus California Chrome now, have made it to Belmont and failed to win.
California Chrome owner Steve Coburn was less than thrilled that his horse lost to Tonalist, which had not competed in either the Preakness or the Kentucky Derby this year. He went on a bit of an eye-contact-with-America rant, calling the result "a coward's way out."
Enjoy this surreal piece of theater (with his wife Carolyn behind him, begging him to stop):
On a slightly less tragic note, my naysayer bit was immediately rejected by the internet.
@AllMyChandler shouldn’t that be “neigh”sayers?— Philip Bump (@pbump) June 7, 2014
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.