When Smarty Jones ran for the Triple Crown in 2004, spectators at Belmont Park faced long lines for betting, bathrooms, and concessions; they waited hours for Long Island Rail Road trains after the races were over. When Big Brown ran for the Triple Crown in 2008, spectators sat in extreme heat and humidity and the plumbing failed, leaving bathrooms inoperable for most of theafternoon.
Reaction was vociferous but largely local; the bad experiences were stamped in the minds of the people who suffered through them, some of whom swore they’d never return to Belmont on a Triple Crown day, but they didn’t necessarily make headline news.
But when California Chrome ran for the Triple Crown last year, and when spectators found unticketed patrons in their seats, a shortage of food and beverages, and hours-long waits to get on a train or out of the parking lot, they did something that those 2004 and 2008 patrons could not: they took to Twitter.
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