Patience Pays with Tonalist; Belmont Stakes 2014
Patience Pays with Tonalist; Belmont Stakes 2014: Tonalist and jockey Joel Rosario won the third and final jewel of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, on Saturday, June 7, 2014 for trainer Christophe Clement and owner Robert S. Evans.
Trainer Christophe Clement told Lady and The Track before the 146th Running of the Belmont Stakes that Tonalist’s success is due to the patience of Robert S. Evans. (Read Full Interview)
Tonalist was able to edge past Commissioner at the wire in the 2014 Belmont Stakes. Tonalist was ridden by Joel Rosario and he had strong final strides in the 1 ½ mile race beating out Commissioner who came in second place and Medal Count who came in third.
Christophe Clement was delighted in Tonalist after the 2014 Belmont Stakes saying, “It’s a great win, it’s great for the team, for the staff, for the owner, Mr. Evans, who believed in us. I’m absolutely thrilled. It’s wonderful. He trained great, he looked great before the race. I’m absolutely delighted that he won. I wasn’t sure he won. We actually thought he finished second, but we got lucky, he won. It was great.”
Joel Rosario said winning the Belmont Stakes today was bittersweet saying, “This is very important to me like always. This is the Belmont, so this is great. This horse, he did very good today. I’m a little bit upset about California Chrome. If I was going to get beat, I wanted to just get beat by him. Yes it’s bittersweet. Tonalist is just kind of a big horse, and he has one long stride, and he just grind it, and keeps on going and going, keeps on coming, and he got the job done today.”
Triple Crown hopeful California Chrome, who won the Kentucky Derby on May 3, 2014 and the Preakness Stakes on May 19, 2014, finished the 2014 Belmont Stakes in a dead heat with Wicked Strong for fourth place. The Belmont Park crowd, estimated at over 150,000, deflated with a sigh as California Chrome crossed the finish line resulting in another year without a Triple Crown champion. Despite being a favorite coming into the 2014 Belmont Stakes, California Chrome was unable to take the win and be the next Triple Crown champion.
This year’s Belmont Stakes was perhaps the most exciting Belmont Stakes race in years as California Chrome set out to win the Triple Crown. The last Triple Crown winner was in 1978. There have been quite a few horses that have won the first two jewels of the crown, but many have failed in their attempts to win all three.
California Chrome was the favorite coming into the race and co-owner Steve Coburn said he “expect[ed] him to win.”
However, like many horses before California Chrome, the longer distance Belmont Stakes just proved to be too tough and California Chrome was denied the Triple Crown. California Chrome had won his six previous starts and was able to get a good start out of the gate at Belmont. California Chrome had a good pace throughout the race and remained in striking distance for the majority of the race, but after the last wide turn, he was unable to push past the leader in the final stretch.
Victor Espinoza, the jockey ridding California Chrome said before the Belmont Stakes, “Very few horses go in all three races and there are a lot of good horses in the field Saturday that will be fresher…that’s why it’s so, so tough.”
The 2014 belmont Stakes was the second time that Espinoza missed out on the Triple Crown, he lost with Emblem in 2002.
Although California Chrome wasn’t able to take the win and the Triple Crown today, finishing in a tie for fourth place with Wicked Strong, California Chrome certainly had fans like no other. Known as the “people’s horse,” California Chrome and all of his “Chromies” or fans, certainly know that regardless of his loss at the Belmont, he is a phenomenal race horse. In fact, trainer Art Sherman said before the race “his colt didn’t need to win another race because he was already such a pleasure to be around.”
Lady and The Track would like to congratulate Joel Rosario, Christophe Clement, Robert Evans, and the amazing Tonalist on their 2014 Belmont Stakes win.
Belmont Stakes 2014 Order of Finish
1. Tonalist $20.40 to Win, $9.60 to Place, $7.00 to Show
2. Commissioner $23.20 to Place, $13.20 to Show
3. Medal Count $13.20 to Show
4. California Chrome (dead heat)
4. Wicked Strong (dead heat)
7. General a Rod
9. Commanding Curve
11. Ride On Curlin
Belmont Stakes 2014 Replay