California Chrome didn't finish his 2014 Triple Crown season like he began it.
He entered the Belmont Stakes a 3-5 favorite. A win would've made him the 12th horse to ever complete the Triple Crown and the first since 1978.
But he lost, trailing Tonalist by 1 3/4 lengths and finishing fourth. And the drought continues.
Here are video highlights of all three races.
2014 Preakness Stakes
2014 Kentucky Derby
In defeat, California Chrome became the 13th horse to lose the Belmont after winning the Derby and Preakness.
While the journey he led left him short of legendary, California Chrome's pursuit of the Triple Crown carried several subplots.
Whether they were exaggerated or not is another matter, but the first was a sore throat that made him cough and threatened his Preakness performance (via the Associated Press). Next came the debate about whether or not he should be allowed to wear a nasal strip, an argument which broke out before the Belmont (via CNN).
California Chrome conquered his cough, and officials granted him use of a nasal strip. But the most impactful subplot came after his loss Saturday. His owner Steve Coburn ranted about how California Chrome had an unfair disadvantage against horses like Tonalist that didn't race in the Derby or Preakness.
In fact, none of the three horses that finished in front of California Chrome—Tonalist, Commissioner and Medal Count—raced in the Preakness. Owners whose horses lose in the Derby often rest them in the Preakness to gain an edge in the Belmont, though Commissioner, like Tonalist, raced in neither.
If Coburn gets his wish, this story has only begun to unfold. Rules could be changed as a result of California Chrome's Triple Crown incompletion to fix this problem.
David Daniels is a columnist at Bleacher Report. He tweets, too.
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