We find out now that California Chrome probably wasn't 100 percent for the Belmont. Of course we don't know if his hoof problem coming out of the gate was the reason he didn't "fire" or whether it was jockey Victor Espinoza not taking charge of the pace of the race or whether California Chrome just didn't have the stamina for the mile-and-a-half.
What we can say for sure is Tonalist and his connections are NOT to blame for the defeat because he didn't run in the other Triple Crown races. In fact, Tonalist WAS pointed to the Kentucky Derby, but he suffered from a couple of ailments and couldn't compete.
California Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn has the top three-year-old in the country right now and probably an Eclipse Award winner. He should just shut up about the "fresh horse" crap being somehow cheating.
If your horse is Triple Crown material, he should be able to handle all comers.
Tonalist's connections have reacted to the Coburn outbursts with complete and total class. The winner's owner is a member of the family who owned 1981 Derby and Preakness winner Pleasant Colony, a horse who lost his bid for the Belmont when HE was beaten by a fresh horse by the name of Summing. You didn't hear any complaining by Pleasant Colony's trainer Johnny Campo (rest in peace) or by his owners.
A blast from the past, the 1981 Belmont:
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