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California Chrome Loses To Tonalist In Belmont, Misses Triple Crown

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

The Yuba City viewing party for the Belmont Stakes ended without a Triple Crown winner, as hometown favorite California Chrome finished in fourth place.

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

California Chrome came in fourth place behind Tonalist, followed by Commissioner and Medal Count at Belmont.

About 7,000 people filled Yuba City's main street to watch California Chrome try to win the Belmont and the Triple Crown. The horse is co-owned by a Yuba City couple, Perry and Denise Martin.  

At the final turn, it looked just like California Chrome's previous wins with Chrome on the outside making a move.

The crowd was rooting for California Chrome, but quickly quieted when he finished in fourth place. (Video by Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio)

But, it was soon apparent this wasn't California Chrome's day. While the crowd in Yuba City wished they had seen the first Triple Crown in 36 years, people like Anne Walker, Nancy Spradley and Leeann Lambirth were happy to have had the opportunity to be part of something special.  

"This is an exciting day for Yuba City," said Spradley.

"It  put us on the map," said Walker.

"It's wonderful everyday people can make a mark on the world," said Lambirth.

Yuba City plans to give a key to the city to California Chrome's co-owners, the Martins.

California Chrome was a popular favorite. He's a horse of the people with little pedigree and an odd gait that should have held him back.

But he won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. and that's more than good enough for this small farming town.

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