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California Chrome, Despite Belmont Loss, Still The Pride of Yuba City

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YUBA CITY (CBS13) – The day started out with enthusiasm and excitement.

“Oh my gosh, it passed the goose pimple test. If something does that to me, it’s cosmic,” said Yuba City resident Walt Webb.

Thousands gathered in downtown Yuba City to watch California Chrome – whose co-owners live in the town – compete for a Triple Crown.

The city shut down the main drag and put up a TV monitor.

“It’s exciting. I’ve been excited ever since the first race,” Carolyn Bybee said.

Supporters decked themselves in purple and green – Chrome’s official colors.

It all led up to the Belmont Stakes, but California Chrome came up short, sucking the air right out of the crowd.

The downtown party – set to go on all day – cleared out in just minutes.

Spectators were almost in disbelief.

“It’s depressing. He ran a good race, but maybe next time,” Cassandra Sweet said.

California Chrome would have been the first horse to win a Triple Crown in horse racing since 1978.

Mayor Kash Gill says he still plans to have a welcome home celebration for co-owners Perry and Denise Martin – whose horse has taken this small town on a ride to remember.

“We will have a parade for the horse as well as Perry and we want to recognize him with the highest designation, which is a key to the city,” Gill said.

On the bright side, Gill said the excitement around California Chrome’s run also boosted the town’s economy. Saturday, just about every downtown shop and restaurant was packed.

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