Fans Show Up By The Thousands For Belmont Stakes; California Chrome Ties For 4th
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — It was a huge upset for many fans at the Belmont Stakes Saturday.
From parties to preparation, there was plenty of buildup to Saturday’s race.
As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, the crowd was electric with excitement before the race.
“I’ve been to sporting events all over the world. And I lived in Europe for seven years and obviously in soccer matches, football matches over there and everything and it just felt — the energy and electricity was incredible,” said Tim Carry, who traveled with his nephew from Alabama to see the race.
Unfortunately for Califonia Chrome, the crowd’s intensity was not enough for the horse to win the Belmont Stakes and bring home the Triple Crown glory.
As 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported, the cheering turned to a roar and the building shook as Califonia Chrome rounded the final turn. But the monster crowd quickly realized no history would be made Saturday.
The crowd favorite lost to a horse named Tonalist, CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport reported.
“It was tough. It was tough. My heart is broken,” said one fan.
PHOTOS: 146TH BELMONT STAKES
California Chrome sustained a bloody gash to his right front foot during the Belmont Stakes, an injury that may have hurt his chances in his failed Triple Crown bid.
Photos taken while the horse was walking back to the barn after his loss in the third leg of the Triple Crown on Saturday show the injured hoof.
It isn’t clear when the injury happened, but the colt’s camp said it’s not serious.
The 3-year-old Chestnut colt, the darling of the racing set, finished out of the money at the Belmont Stakes, tying for fourth place before a crowd of stunned onlookers.
His dreams of a Triple Crown dashed, along with the dreams of his faithful fans.
“This is my third time trying to get a Triple Crown. Didn’t get it. I’ll be back next time,” said fan Michael Hopkins.
“I’m kind of bummed out. I really would’ve liked to been here to witness history in the making,” said Tracy O’Halloran.
The last triple crown winner was Affirmed in 1978, back when Jimmy Carter was president, Rapoport reported. Only 11 horses in history have pulled off the Triple Crown.
After victories in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, many thought California Chrome was destined for the ultimate horse racing achievement.
Fans and former horse owners said his loss shows just how hard it is to win the Triple Crown.
“It is the most difficult thing in sports, period. You gotta hit tens every time,” said former horse owner Carl Grether.
Chrome’s co-owner Steve Coburn was irate during a televised interview after the race, criticizing those who skipped — or couldn’t qualify for — the Derby or Preakness.
“It’s not fair to these horses that have been in the game since Day 1,” said Coburn, adding he doesn’t believe he’ll see another Triple Crown winner in the current format. “This is a coward’s way out, in my opinion. This is a coward’s way out.”
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