Once again, the Triple Crown went unclaimed.
The fatigued California Chrome couldn't find his burst down the final stretch, and Tonalist was the horse to benefit.
A newcomer to this year's Triple Crown races, Tonalist put on a sparkling performance Sunday evening, emerging victorious in the 2014 Belmont Stakes.
ESPN Stats & Info tweeted an interesting statistic involving Tonalist's win:
Tonalist wins Belmont, 15th to win the Belmont without running in either the Kentucky Derby or Preakness Stakes since last Triple Crown won— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 7, 2014
Here's a look at the race's final results:
|1||11||Tonalist||Joel Rosario||Christophe Clement||—|
|2||8||Commissioner||Javier Castellano||Todd Pletcher||Head|
|3||1||Medal Count||Robby Albarado||Dale Romans||1|
|4||2||California Chrome||Victor Espinoza||Art Sherman||1 3/4|
|4||9||Wicked Strong||Rajiv Maragh||Jimmy Jerkins||1 3/4|
|6||7||Samraat||Jose Ortiz||Rick Violette||4|
|7||10||General a Rod||Rosie Napravnik||Mike Maker||5 1/4|
|8||3||Matterhorn||Joe Bravo||Todd Pletcher||10|
|9||4||Commanding Curve||Shaun Bridgmohan||Dallas Stewart||12 3/4|
|10||6||Matuszak||Mike Smith||Bill Mott||55|
|11||5||Ride On Curlin||John Velazquez||Billy Gowan||87|
No stranger to Belmont Park, Sunday marked Tonalist's second consecutive victory there, having won the Peter Pan Stakes earlier this year.
The 1 1/2-mile race suited Tonalist nicely, as the colt features a high level of endurance and significant closing speed.
Jockey Joel Rosario's experience shone bright atop Tonalist over the course of the race. He maintained a good position throughout the race, keeping pace just behind the leaders.
Going three wide around the final turn, Rosario asked Tonalist to run just at the right time. The colt surged past his winded opponents and edged out Commissioner by a head to take the victory.
Rosario is second in earnings of all jockeys in 2014, according to Equibase.com, and after his display on the reins of Tonalist on Sunday, it's easy to see why.
Here's a look at the performance from Rosario and Tonalist during Sunday's Belmont Stakes:
Should you be one of the lucky ones to put faith in Tonalist, Commissioner or Medal Count on Sunday, here's a look at the rewards to expect:
Not everyone was happy with the race's results.
We'll have to continue our wait for a Triple Crown winner, as the drought will enter its 37th year. California Chrome's co-owner Steve Coburn was rather upset with the outcome and lashed out at Tonalist, according to a tweet from the New York Daily News:
"If you've got a horse, run him in all three...This is the coward's way out." -California Chrome owner Steve Coburn— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) June 7, 2014
Here's a look at Coburn's strong comments:
Whether Coburn has a valid point is up for debate. However, for this year, it's too little, too late for California Chrome, as Tonalist is the horse to don the carnation blanket this year.
Tonalist's owner Rob Evans was asked about Coburn's comments after the race. The New York Daily News tweeted his succinct response:
"I don't think I have a comment on that." -Tonalist owner Robert Evans to Bob Costas on Steve Coburn's "coward's way out" quotation.— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) June 7, 2014
We can most likely expect more fallout from this war of words.
It was an unfortunate ending for California Chrome, as the unlikely Triple Crown hopeful was a fantastic story to follow from Churchill Downs to Pimlico to Belmont Park. But Sunday was Tonalist's day.
We all expected a close race due to such a strong field, and we certainly got it. The 146th running of the Belmont Stakes provided a breathtaking finish to this year's Triple Crown races—even with its bittersweet finish.