Last into the gate at the No. 11 post, Tonalist denied California Chrome’s bid for the Triple Crown with a victory in Saturday’s 146th Belmont Stakes.

It was the fifth career start for Tonalist and the third win after not participating in the Kentucky Derby or Preakness Stakes last month.

Commissioner finished in second and Medal Count third, with California Chrome not far behind in fourth.

Tonalist has had success before at Belmont Park, beating out Commissioner at the Grade II Peter Pan by four lengths last fall.


"We actually thought he finished second, but we got lucky, he won," said Christophe Clement, the trainer for Tonalist. "It was great."

California Chrome started out of the gate well, but jockey Victor Espinoza was blocked off by his competitors. The duo moved up to third when the race entered the back stretch, but at that point Espinoza had to move to the outside for any chance of moving up. Eventually California Chrome was too far out and looked gassed at the finish line.

Tonalist battled with Commissioner and General A Rod at the top of the pack for much of the race, before finally finding the rail and pulling away in the far turn.

The loss by California Chrome extends the drought for a Triple Crown winner. The last time a racehorse won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes was Affirmed in 1978.