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Heartbreak in the State: California Chrome's Triple Crown Hopes Dashed

People bet more money on the steed than any horse in history, bookies said.

California Chrome. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
California Chrome. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Originally posted at 4:24 p.m. Edited with new details. 

By TERRI VERMEULEN
City News Service

Tens of thousands of people who packed Santa Anita Park hoping to see hometown favorite California Chrome win horse racing's Triple Crown went away disappointed today as he finished fourth in the Belmont Stakes.

California Chrome -- a California-bred thoroughbred based at Orange County's Los Alamitos Race Course -- was the heavy favorite at Belmont after wins in the Santa Anita Derby and the first two legs of the Triple Crown -- the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.

Tonalist won the race, slightly in front of second-place finisher Commissioner and third place Medal Count. California Chrome finished in a dead heat for fourth with Wicked Strong, both just under 2 lengths back.

California Chrome's defeat marks the 13th time a horse has lost the Belmont after winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness since Affirmed won the Triple Crown in 1978.

"Go Chromie" was the chant by a multitude of fans in the Santa Anita grandstands and in the betting lounges at Los Alamitos.

Santa Anita attendee Jolynn Martin -- who was wearing Chrome's colors, green and purple -- couldn't hide her disappointment.

"We're so sad. I can't believe it. It's just too bad," said Martin, who lives near the Santa Anita track.

"(The horse-racing) industry needed a shot in the arm," Martin said, gesturing to the grandstand. "We would have never had this crowd."

A glum Patty Smith of Culver City said she has "been around too long, and I wanted the 36-year streak to be broken so I'm sad, very sad."

Danielle Jones of San Diego said, "We look forward to going to see him at Del Mar," where California Chrome may race this summer.

Michael John Torrey June 09, 2014 at 06:12 PM
Attn: Mr. Mrs. Terry R. Terry Date: Monday June 09, 2014 Whoa let's not get hasty here. All sports can be watched and enjoyed without the gambling factor. If we can play and watch sports for the fun of it, then we can play and watch for the fun of it. Young children play and watch all sorts of games for the fun lf it. When I was a young lad myself I played and watched games for the fun of it. I have played & watched domino and card games for the fun of it. I see people playing computerized solitaire for the fun of it. Who are they gambling with? Themselves? I see people playing all sorts of video games ( I don't mean in a casino either) who are they gambling with? themselves? It seems to me gambling takes all the fun out of playing & watching. Don't you think so? Michael John Torrey E-Mail-mjohntorrey54@yahoo.com Alameda, CA. 94501-1875
Michael John Torrey June 09, 2014 at 07:26 PM
Attn: Mr. Mrs. Ms. R. Terry Date: Monday June 09, 2014 It is because of gambling that some horses and bulls lose their lives. When horses continue to have a losing streak the owner is not making any cash off that horse, it is off to the Glue Factory with that horse. If a horse breaks It's leg in the race it is off to the Glue Factory with that horse. Bulls will die automatically after the Matador sticks both swords in the bull's throat on the left and right sides of the bull. So don't tell me gambling does not have anything to do with your comment. I understood what you were saying. These animals are going to be killed if there is no money to be made that is all there is to it. I don't like it anymore than you do. But it seems to me that is the way the ball bounces and one of us is going to have to catch and stop that ball from bouncing in that direction. The best. Michael John Torrey E-Mail-mjohntorrey54@yahoo.com Alameda, CA. 94501-1875

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