2014 Belmont Stakes

Belmont Stakes 2014 Replay: Video, Highlights and Recap

Tonalist (11) with Joel Rosario up edges out Commissioner (8) with Javier Castellano up to win the 146th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race, Saturday, June 7, 2014, in Elmont, N.Y. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press
Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistJune 8, 2014

The 2014 Belmont Stakes provided the stage for history to be made. But it was Tonalist who stole the show. 

While California Chrome was no doubt the crowd favorite who was running for history, Tonalist had other ideas. He found a way to best the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner to claim the third leg of horse racing's Triple Crown.

Of course, it wasn't just the Triple Crown hopeful that the winner had to outrun. He charged past a field of nine other worthy contenders to write his own chapter in the history books.

Here's a look at how the race went down:

Tonalist and California Chrome weren't the only horses with surprising results. Here are the full standings from an incredible race:

2014 Belmont Stakes Results
111TonalistJoel RosarioChristophe Clement-
28CommissionerJavier CastellanoTodd PletcherHead
31Medal CountRobby AlbaradoDale Romans1
42California ChromeVictor EspinozaArt Sherman1 3/4
49Wicked StrongRajiv MaraghJimmy Jerkins1 3/4
67SamraatJose OrtizRick Violette4
710General a RodRosie NapravnikMike Maker5 1/4
83MatterhornJoe BravoTodd Pletcher10
94Commanding CurveShaun BridgmohanDallas Stewart12 3/4
106MatuszakMike SmithBill Mott55
115Ride On CurlinJohn VelazquezBilly Gowan87
NBC Broadcast

California Chrome's shot at history came to an anticlimactic end. The Derby and Preakness champion took the inside track early but was forced to go to the outside in an attempt to reclaim the lead down the stretch.

While he was the beneficiary of nearly perfect trips in the first two legs of the Triple Crown, the combination of fatigue from running three races in five weeks and falling behind was a hurdle that he wasn't ready to overcome. 

Tonalist, who sat out both the Derby and Belmont, appeared to have plenty of gas in the tank to outstride the field over the course of the 1 1/2-mile track. His victory continued a trend that ESPN Stats and Info noted:

After the race, it was this exact trend that California Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn addressed, per the New York Daily News:

With Tonalist's win in the books, the Triple Crown drought now extends to 36 years since Affirmed captured the title in 1978. However, that might not be the worst thing in the world for the sport of horse racing. Peter Burns of The Denver Post explains:

Although it's disappointing to the average fan that yet another horse failed to join the Triple Crown club, there's little doubt that the series will continue to become a focus every summer. The allure of a potential historic horse entering the field is a yearly fascination. 

The skyrocketing rise in California Chrome's popularity and subsequent failure to attain legendary status is just the most recent example of the mystique that surrounds the event. 

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