NEW YORK -- Since Affirmed swept the last Triple Crown in 1978, Victor Espinoza is the only jockey to get two cracks at winning

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NEW YORK -- Since Affirmed swept the last Triple Crown in 1978, Victor Espinoza is the only jockey to get two cracks at winning the elusive title again. Both times hes left empty. It was War Emblem in 2002. On Saturday, it was California Chromes turn to lose the Belmont after capturing the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. "We reached almost to the top," Espinoza said. "Just one step away to get to the top." California Chrome finished in a dead heat for fourth, a disappointment to bettors who made him the 4-5 favourite. The Belmont was the third tough race in a short five-week span. His tank was empty. "As soon as he came out of the gate he wasnt the same," Espinoza said. Espinoza, 41, was once a bus driver in his native Mexico City. He has won riding titles at four Southern California tracks, winning over 3,000 races and earning $169 million in purses. With history on the line, the rider did his best to nurse California Chrome through the 1 1/2-mile race. Espinoza kept him on the rail in the early stages. On the final turn, with time running out, Espinoza shifted California Chrome outside to light a spark. "By five eighths pole (the top of the turn) he was empty," the jockey said. "I tried to move out to see if it would make a difference." Not with a tired horse. "I was just waiting for to have the same kick like he always had before," Espinoza said. "Today he was a bit flat down the lane. He ran back-to-back races at different tracks, and against those fresh horses." At least this time, California Chrome got to run his race. War Emblem was a different kind of horse, a confirmed front runner who had to have it his way to be effective. War Emblem stumbled at the start of the Belmont. Espinoza got him back into the race but playing catchup was not War Emblems game. He finished eighth. Jockeys rarely get a chance for Triple Crown redemption. Espinoza was handed one when California Chrome launched a six-race winning streak the moment they teamed up. It was a magical run that started in races restricted to horses bred in California. It picked up momentum in the Santa Anita Derby and crashed the national stage in the Derby and the Preakness. In every win, California Chrome proved responsive to every command by Espinoza. They won on the lead. They came from just off the pace. "The last time I had been here, I stumbled," Espinoza said. "Today I dont feel bad. California Chrome was just empty today." Anthony Sherman Jersey .com) - Its fair to call Mike McCarthy one of the best coaches in the NFL but its also more than objective to point out that the veteran mentor bookended the Green Bay Packers season with two, truly awful game plans in Seattle. Dee Ford Jersey . Mauer struck out to end the inning, with a runner on third base in the seventh on Wednesday and the Twins trailing 1-0. Everybody does this, of course, in a sport with a 30 per cent success rate at the plate long proven to be a benchmark of excellence. http://www.officialkansascitychiefsfootball.com/.com) - Former FBI director Robert Mueller said his investigation found no evidence that the NFL saw the elevator video of Ray Rice striking his then-fiancee before the tape was released in September. Dorian ODaniel Jersey . "There are a lot of things that are going very well in this organization. Im not coming in here to rip things apart," Nicholson told reporters Friday. "I know what Hockey Canada was when I started, and I know where this (Oilers) organization is today. Eric Murray Jersey . Reyes, 26, was traded from Atlanta to Toronto in July 2010 and spent the remainder of the season in the minors. He began 2011 in the majors and made 20 starts with the Blue Jays, going 5-8 with a 5.40 earned run average before he was waived on Aug.Darryl Sutter wont stop talking. This isnt an oxymoron. Or a dream sequence in another TSN Films skit. This is truth. On a sunny evening on the boardwalk of Manhattan Beach, California, the coach of two of the last three Stanley Cup champions is sharing his views on, in no particular order: - Brothers (Ive played on a team my whole life, not from making a team...I was born into a team.) - Criminal Minds (I love that show. Weve gotten to meet some of the actors and actresses. Its pretty cool.) - Eliminating the penalty box (Why not have them sit on the bench and sell the best six seats in the house?) - Yoga (I put it in our training twice this year...so thats a big move right there. But no, Im not doing it.) - Literature (Ive spent a lot of time alone in my life. I could read a book a night...Canadian history, American history, and anything to do with the Old West.) - His breakout role in TSNs The Panel Hangover (Dreger was the best though. He nailed it.) That guy you see on TV? The one with the semi-permanent scowl who can do an entire post game new conference in 25 words or less? This is not that guy. Ive always enjoyed talking one-on-one with people, Sutter says. I just dont like talking after games. We all saw what happened on the ice. I dont have much to add. Most questions you can answer with yes, no...maybe. So I dont want to go much beyond that. That Darryl - post-game Darryl - is a nightmare for reporters on deadline starving for a usable quote. But its a dream for those of us who love theatre of the absurd. That includes L.A. Kings players, who often turn on their coachs podium performances in the dressing room to watch them live. Its their favourite show. We do get a big kick out of it, laughs Anze Kopitar. Though it depends on how we played. Some nights are less funny than others. Sutter addresses almost every post-game question literallya€| Reporter: Coach, what was the difference tonight? Sutter: One goal. ...And avoids giving any useful dressing room insight at all cost. Reporter: What did you say to your team after the game? Sutter: Fly at 11. For our TV feature on Sutter for TSN, we edited together a bunch of random post-game answers and showed them to his players - a segment we call Darryl Sutter - Win or Loss? (It really should be picked up by The Game Show Network and hosted by Pat Sajak. Or maybe Travis Zajac.) The players had to guess if the Sutter comments came after wins or losses. Most failed. And miserably. Only Matt Greene nailed every one - hes a Sutter savant. I just dont understand why people keep trying to ask him questions, Greene says. I mean, you get the same answers every time. Just cut your losses. The endless monosyllabic answers are why one columnist dubbed last springs Kings-Ducks/Boudreau-Sutter coaching match-up as, Gabby vs. Crabby. And if thats the only Darryl you see (which it is for most), thats fair. For years, when he was general manager and/or head coach of the Calgary Flames, our interviews on the stage at the NHL Draft would be dislocated elbow-painful. He was the one guy I thought might actually Patrick Swayze/Roadhouse my throat when he didnt like a question. Which was pretty much every question. Bob McKenzie would get giddy every year waiting for those two minutes, when Darryl would eye-murder me on the draft stage. Around YYear 3 of our stage (cage) matches, he got up at the end of the interview (after Id thrown to commercial), smiled and punched me so hard in the shoulder it buckled me.dddddddddddd This would become an annual ritual. I contemplated becoming the first TV host to wear shoulder pads underneath my jacket (not the suit type for guys with bony shoulders...the actual hockey kind). Still, I took this abuse as some warped Sutter sign of affection. Or tolerance at least. Im never giving you a thing kid, but I understand you have to ask. After that, any time Id see him away from the stage or the podium, away from the media masses, hed smile and chat like we were on the same bowling team (which would be an AWESOME sitcom premise). And that is the other Darryl. The guy who tells the Kings PR man to let a TV crew into his house three hours before hell be home. Help yourself to whatever you need, he said. When he does arrive, he answers a half-hours worth of questions and then shows the crew around his neighbourhood (Manhattan Beach is a ridiculously gorgeous little beach town a half hour from Staples Centre. Most of the Kings live there and Sutter rents a small house a block from the beach.). Then as the crew is packing up, he insists they all come out with him for a beer. Which turns into three. And dinner. Four hours later, Sutter is still talking, discussing alfalfa crops with the freelance cameraman. Hollywood loves the fish out of water story and when the old-school Alberta farmer moved there to take the Kings job in early 2012, it wrote like one. I think I was in the barn...I wasnt shoveling s---, I remember that, but I had that day, he said of getting the call from Kings general manager Dean Lombardi. For a town used to winning championships with Zen Master Phil Jackson, this was...err...going to be a bit different. But Sutter chuckles at those who thought hed be a misfit in Tinseltown. They obviously didnt do their homework, he says. In fact, Los Angeles had been on a very short list of three teams that he would have left the farm to coach again (Toronto was one of the two others). Theres a misconception about playing in Los Angeles, he explains. We play hockey in Los Angeles, but we live in Manhattan Beach which is basically a small town. Its awesome - You can leave the rink and even at night after a game, you can be one minute to the ocean and walk a mile to one of the piers and back. And its game over, you can start thinking about tomorrow. Which is what he started doing, just days after winning that second Stanley Cup back in June. Thinking about the 82 tomorrows ahead this season. And possibly a couple months more worth in the spring. Something he believes is a very real possibility with this team. This old-school, hard-ass coach now speaks of his players like a proud father. The best part of being with the Los Angeles Kings is being able to coach this group, he says. It gives me shivers to talk about because they are such an awesome group of athletes that know how to handle...(long Sutter pause)...life. (Another pause)...And its cool to see. Thats as close to mushy as youll ever hear a Sutter get. Particularly this Sutter. He says those words about his team and then for a moment, hes silent. Just like he is so often at the podium after the game. But this moment - much like this man - is really not like that at all. 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