Originally posted at 4:24 p.m. Edited with new details.
By TERRI VERMEULEN
City News Service
Tens of thousands of people who packed Santa Anita Park hoping to see hometown favorite California Chrome win horse racing's Triple Crown went away disappointed today as he finished fourth in the Belmont Stakes.
California Chrome -- a California-bred thoroughbred based at Orange County's Los Alamitos Race Course -- was the heavy favorite at Belmont after wins in the Santa Anita Derby and the first two legs of the Triple Crown -- the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.
Tonalist won the race, slightly in front of second-place finisher Commissioner and third place Medal Count. California Chrome finished in a dead heat for fourth with Wicked Strong, both just under 2 lengths back.
California Chrome's defeat marks the 13th time a horse has lost the Belmont after winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness since Affirmed won the Triple Crown in 1978.
"Go Chromie" was the chant by a multitude of fans in the Santa Anita grandstands and in the betting lounges at Los Alamitos.
Santa Anita attendee Jolynn Martin -- who was wearing Chrome's colors, green and purple -- couldn't hide her disappointment.
"We're so sad. I can't believe it. It's just too bad," said Martin, who lives near the Santa Anita track.
"(The horse-racing) industry needed a shot in the arm," Martin said, gesturing to the grandstand. "We would have never had this crowd."
A glum Patty Smith of Culver City said she has "been around too long, and I wanted the 36-year streak to be broken so I'm sad, very sad."
Danielle Jones of San Diego said, "We look forward to going to see him at Del Mar," where California Chrome may race this summer.