Tags: steve coburn | california | chrome | triple Crown

Steve Coburn Doubles Down on California Chrome Belmont Rant

Image: Steve Coburn Doubles Down on California Chrome Belmont Rant

By    |   Monday, 09 Jun 2014 09:49 AM

Steve Coburn, co-owner of California Chrome, doubled down on his off-the-cuff rant following the horse's loss at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, which ended the team's bid for the Triple Crown.

When a Good Morning America host asked him Sunday if he regretted saying that the Belmont winner, Tonalist, took "the coward's way out" by not running in either of the first two Triple Crown races, he replied, "Not only no, but hell no, I do not regret it one bit."

"It's not fair to these horses that are running to entertain these people in all three legs of the Triple Crown," he said. "It's not fair to them to have somebody just show up at the last minute and run. I may have gone off half-cocked yesterday, but that's the way I feel."

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According to The Associated Press, California Chrome, General a Rod, and Ride On Curlin were the only horses to run in the Derby, Preakness, and Belmont. Because only three horses would qualify for the Belmont race under Coburn's suggested scenario, it's highly unlikely it will ever be adopted.

A crowd of 102,199 turned out for the event, and a record $19,105,877 was wagered on-track.

California Chrome went to Belmont after a six-race winning streak, and seemed a likely candidate to win the Triple Crown, a feat that hasn't been seen in 36 years. The horse finished fourth after sustaining a foot injury after bumping into Matterhorn coming out of the starting gate.

California Chrome's trainer, Art Sherman, 77, distanced himself from the comments made by Coburn.

"Horses aren't cowards and the people aren't cowards," he said. "[Coburn] was at the heat of the moment. Don't forget he's a fairly new owner. Sometimes your emotions get in front of you. He hasn't been in the game long and hasn't had any bad luck."

The New Jersey Star Ledger ran an op-ed on the race, and writer Jerry Izenberg took issue with some of the analogies Coburn used on Good Morning America — particularly, "They hold out two [races] and then come back and run one. That would be like me at 6'2" . . . playing basketball with a kid in a wheelchair" — but sympathized with the context in which they were said.

"This is a good man who cares about his trainer and his horse. Everywhere he went with his cowboy hat and his down-home accent and his ready smile, he piled up street cred for the Triple Crown . . . And suddenly the mental house of cards that Coburn had built collapsed and so did the role he essayed," Izenberg explained.

An op-ed in The Boston Herald put in more bluntly, accusing Coburn of having a case of "sour grapes."





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Steve Coburn, co-owner of California Chrome, doubled down on his off-the-cuff rant following the horse's loss at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, which ended the team's bid for the Triple Crown.
steve coburn, california, chrome, triple Crown
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2014-49-09
Monday, 09 Jun 2014 09:49 AM
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