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field by a record 31 lengths in a track record that still stands (2 minutes, 24 seconds). A poster of that famous race is on the wall at Belmont with a statue of Secretariat at the main paddock.
"Oh, my god!" horse racing fan John Montgomery said after a brief chat with Chenery. "That's the best moment of my life. I can't believe I just talked to her. That was amazing. I've always wanted to see her."
The last time the Triple Crown was achieved was in 1978 by Affirmed.
Long lines formed to meet the "First Lady of Racing."
"I watch Secretariat's Belmont race all the time," fan Janice Dubow said after getting an autograph from Turcotte, who won the 1973 Belmont Stakes aboard Secretariat before he was paralyzed here following a spill during a race in 1978. "He's the best jockey ever. It's good to see him doing so well."The Belmont Stakes was the main course, but there were plenty of pricy appetizers during Saturday's races.
IT'S BEEN AWHILE
Of the 13 races, 10 were stakes races, including six Grade I stake events. Four of the races had purses of at least $1 million, with $8 million in Lv Black Sneakers
purses together, the most on a single day in Belmont history.
AROUND THE TRACK
Belmont Park prior to the Belmont Stakes. . Chrome was looking to become the first Cal bred horse to win the Triple Crown. . Of the 11 Triple Crown winners, eight are from Kentucky, with one each from Florida, Texas and Virginia. . Only two favorites have won the Belmont since 1998. Chrome entered as the 4/5 favorite. Tonalist's odds were 9 1. . Chrome won $80,000 after tying for fourth place. . This was Espinoza's first loss on Chrome. He was 5 0 entering the race.
Outside of the Stakes, the best race came in $1 million Ogden Phipps for females 4 years old and up. Close Hatches narrowly held of Princess of Sylmar and Antipathy. Along with Beholden, Close Hatches and Princess of Sylmar are the three best active female racehorses. Close Hatches won $535,000.
Things have changed since then. In 1978, the average income was $17,000, the average house cost $13,650 and a gallon of gas cost 63 cents. And Chrome's jockey, Victor Espinoza, was 6 years old.
The biggest race outside the Belmont Stakes was the $1.25 million Metropolitan, won by Palace Malice, last year's Belmont Stakes winner. Palace Malice netted $670,000 for the win. Shakin It Up, who is co owned by Washoe Valley's Mike Pegram, finished fourth and was vanned off after the race, with the initial report showing no apparent injuries. Shakin It Up's fourth was good for Palladium Waterproof Baggy $85,000.
The Coburns reportedly had more than 40 friends and family in attendance. . California Chrome was attempting to become the first horse to win the Triple Crown having never run at Ralph Lauren Pink Shoes
Royalty shows up to watch Chrome run
Chenery also crashed Friday night's press party along with California Chrome co owner Steve Coburn, the Topaz Lake resident. Chenery, who lives in Boulder, Colo., had sworn off traveling, but headed to Belmont to cheer on Chrome. At the press party, she donned a purple and green California Chrome hat.
The jockeys of the last three Triple Crown winners Ron Turcotte (Secretariat), Jean Cruguet (Seattle Slew) and Steve Cauthen (Affirmed) also attended the race and signed autographs for 4 hours.
Belmont was the location of Secretariat's greatest triumph when in 1973 he won the Triple Crown by beating the Lacoste Sneakers Woman
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