In its 95 year history, horse racing's highest honor and most prestigious prize is difficult to come by. So difficult in fact that it's only been achieved a grand total of 11 times. I am talking of course about winning the Triple Crown Trophy.
The feat is rare and difficult for any horse and trainer/jockey trio to come by because it involves winning all 3 of the major thoroughbred horse races that are out there: The Kentucky Derby, The Preakness Stakes, and just as importantly, the last leg of the 3-parter, The Belmont Stakes.
This year though we could see this rare feat accomplished, thanks to the skill and success of a 3 year stud named California Chrome. After winning the Kentucky Derby, people started to talk and speculate. They started to think maybe, just maybe this horse could go all the way. Vegas and the gamblers out there were giving Chrome a 50/50 chance to win it all. Not bad considering only a third of the action was complete. Lots of horses out there. Lots of unknowns. And horse racing is rife with upsets, almost every single year.
But after California Chrome pulled out 1st place at Preakness, people are doing more than just casually hoping for history. The odds now are better than a coin flip too. Current lines are giving Chrome 3-5 odds for the triple feat. This Saturday at Belmont Stakes, most everyone is thinking, hoping and expecting for this year's most popular and well known colt to win it all. Triple Crown status is a real likely-hood. Just one more race. One more time, and California Chrome and his team of trainers and the talented jockey will make history. All they have to do is win.
Chrome gets the No. 2 spot in the line-up at Belmont Stakes. Everything is primed for history to be written for a 12th time with horse racing. For this is why horse racing is so watched and bet on and talked about: so much pressure, speculation and momentum, so many questions all get answered in a final race that lasts only a few minutes. High tension, high stakes, and one huge potential payoff... Good luck, California Chrome!
Belmont Stakes will air live via NBC on Saturday June 7th, at 4:30pm EST.
Well, it's all over now. Long story short, California Chrome did not win the Belmont Stakes. That makes Chrome the 13th hopeful colt to vie for the Triple Crown by winning the first two races and ultimately losing on the longest track, the 1.5 mile stretch at the Belmont Stakes. Not bad company at all for California Chrome, for that's an extremely hard feat in and of itself. But, it's just not quite on the historic level of going 3-for-3. Many hoped that the 36 year drought of not crowning a Triple Crown Trophy winning horse would have ended today. Unfortunately, we will have to wait for at least another year for that to be a real possibility again. The drought streak continues. The big winner today was a horse named Tonalist.
Here is the full Order-of-Finish Results of the 2014 Belmont Stakes:
Place - Horse
1 - Tonalist
2 - Commissioner
3 - Medal Count
4 - California Chrome (tied for 4th)
4 - Wicked Strong (tied for 4th)
6 - Samraat
7 - General A Rod
8 - Matterhorn
9 - Commanding Curve
10 - Matuszak
11 - Ride on Curlin