Dominican Republic-Born Jockey Creates Upset At Belmont Stakes

Tonalist Wins Belmont Stakes (REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)
Tonalist Wins Belmont Stakes (REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)
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News Americas, BELMONT, NY, Sat. June 8, 2014: Dominican Republic-Born Jockey Joel Rosario rode long shot Tonalist to a win at the Belmont Stakes Saturday, leaving favorite California Chrome in its dust in the 1 1/2-mile race.

Chrome became the 13th horse since Affirmed won the Triple Crown in 1978 to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes but fail to win the Belmont Stakes. The 3-year-old colt finished in a tie for fourth with Wicked Strong.

Rosario, 29, and Tonalist edged Commissioner at the wire while Medal Count took third.

Tonalist, owned by Robert Evans had sat out the first two legs of the Triple Crown before competing Saturday, a decision that was criticized by California Chrome’s co-owner Steve Coburn and his Mexican-born jockey, Victor Espinoza.

“It’s not fair to these horses that have been in the game since Day 1,” said Coburn, adding he doesn’t believe he’ll see another Triple Crown winner in the current format. “This is a coward’s way out, in my opinion. This is a coward’s way out.”

Medal Count didn’t participate in the Preakness three weeks ago.

“Our horse had a target on its back,” Coburn added.

California Chrome sustained a bloody gash to his right front foot during the Belmont Stakes, an injury that may have hurt his chances in his failed bid to sweep the Triple Crown for the first time in 36 years.

Affirmed remains the last Triple Crown Winner, having won in 1978.

Meanwhile, Rosario also won the G2 $500,000 126th Running of the Brooklyn Invitational on Saturday, June 7, 2014, just hours before winning the 146th Running of the Belmont Strakes.