3 Reasons California Chrome Won't Win The Belmont Stakes

No horse has won the Triple Crown in the United States since Affirmed in 1978 and a handful of thoroughbreds (11 in total) have won the first two legs, most recently, I’ll Have Another in 2012. However, during that drought, we haven’t seen a horse dominate the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes like California Chrome has so far this year. On June 7th, he’ll get the chance to make history at the Belmont Stakes in New York. California Chrome will be a large favorite at Belmont Park and he has an excellent shot to do it, but here are three reasons why he may not. 

The Distance

The Belmont Stakes is 1 ½ miles long, easily the longest of the three Triple Crown races, and that is a long way for a horse to run. California Chrome has shown the ability to close very strong so far and he has run away from the field over six straight wins, but the Belmont is a different beast and he has to do it one more time. If the track is sloppy, that will sap more of his strength and that leads into the second reason why he might not complete the Triple Crown. 

The Fatigue Factor 

Since winning the Santa Anita Derby in April, California Chrome has been shipped from the west coast to Churchill Downs in Kentucky, to Pimlico in Baltimore and now he is off to New York. You also have to factor in all of the extra attention he has been getting from all sorts of news outlets, sports and otherwise, and even though his handlers say he has been fine, it has to get him a little more excited than usual. This means he is expending more energy when he isn’t on the racetrack. Now he has to race one more time over 1 ½ miles? It’ll be interesting to see how much California Chrome has left in the tank, particularly down the stretch. NoseStripGate threatened to be an issue, but California Chrome will be allowed to wear his breathing aid, so that will be a help. 

The Historical Factor 

There was a time in the 1930s to the 1950s, and then again in the 1970s, where horses were expected to win the Triple Crown and you could see the gulf in quality between one horse and the rest of the three-year-old field. However, nowadays it is much more difficult to make a gap between your horse and the rest because there is more money to go around for maintenance, and you might have to have a one-of-a-kind horse to make it happen. That isn’t to say California Chrome doesn’t fit the bill, because he has been phenomenal over the last two months, but recent history shows that it is incredibly difficult to seal the deal, especially at the Belmont. If there is one thing that it is for certain, it is that high-stakes thoroughbred horse racing has received a bump from his run; now, California Chrome just has to make history. 

Horse Racing Odds – Will California Chrome Win The 2014 Belmont?

Yes -120

No -120