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NEW YORK -- California Chrome did not win Saturday's Belmont Stakes and horse racing has now gone since Affirmed in 1978 without a Triple Crown winner.

Tonalist won Saturday's race as California Chrome finished in a dead heat for fourth with Wicked Strong.

California Chrome owner Steve Coburn was irate that fresh horses were pointed at his colt.

"This was the coward's way out," said Coburn about the horses who had not races in all three of the Triple Crown races.

Coburn did think that his horse had a chance to win the race.

"I thought he was gaining ground but he didn't have anything apparently. He's been in three big races. These other horses set one out and it's not fair for the horses who are in it from Day 1.

"It's all or nothing. It's not fair to these horses that are running their guts out. This is a cowards' way out. If you've got a horse that earns points that run in the Kentucky Derby, those horses should be the only ones who should run in all three races."

Said California Chrome jockey Victor Espinoza: "I think it was tough for him. He feels good."

Joel Rosario on the winner said "It's great, he did very good today. If I was going to get beat, I hoped it would be by him. (Chrome)."

Before Saturday's race, only 5 of 36 favorites had won the Belmont.

The crowd was estimated at 120,000.

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California Chrome, an odds on favorite, was the 13th horse since Affirmed to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

The others: Spectacular Bid, 1979, 3rd in the Belmont; Pleasant Colony, 1981, 3rd; Alysheba, 1987, 4th, Sunday Silence, 1989, 2nd; Silver Charm, 1997, 2nd; Real Quiet, 1998, 2nd; Charismatic, 1999, 3rd; War Emblem, 2002, 8th; Funny Cide, 2003 3rd; Smarty Jones, 2004, 2nd; Big Brown, 2008, DNF; I'll Have Another, 2012, DNR.

The 11 Triple Crown winn

ers: Sir Barton (1919); Gallant Fox (1930); Omaha (1935); War Admiral (1937); Whirlaway (1941); Count Fleet (1943); Assault (1946); Citation (1948); Secretariat (1973); Seattle Slew (1977) and Affirmed (1978)

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