By Jason Schott - Assoociate Editor - @JESchott19
Tonalist won the Belmont Stakes, preventing California Chrome from being the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. Tonalist had 9-1 odds entering the race, and he edged out Commissioner in a tight finish. Medal Count came in third.
California Chrome entered the race as the favorite with 4-5 odds and never had the lead. He was caught in the center of the track and could not gain any traction, He finished in a dead heat for fourth with Wicked Strong, about where he was for most of the race.
California Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn took issue with Tonalist being in the Belmont Stakes. Coburn said after the race, "It's all or nothing. This is not fair to these horses and to the people that believe in them. This is the coward's way out." Coburn said after the Preakness that horses should be required to run in all three Triple Crown races.
Tonalist last ran on May 10th in the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont, and he won that race, with Commissioner coming in second in that race as well.
Tonalist is trained by Christophe Clement of France and the jockey was Joel Rosario. Clement said afterwards, "We actually thought we finished second, but we got lucky, he won. It was great."
California Chrome came out sluggish, and his jockey Victor Espinoza said, "As soon as he came out of the gate, he wasn't the same."