Well, we didn’t get to see California Chrome end the 36-year Triple Crown drought, after the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner lost at the Belmont Stakes. But we did get to see Chrome’s co-owner Steve Coburn throw a tantrum in which he railed against the thoroughbred industry and the “cowards” who opted to race fresh horses in each leg of the Triple Crown series.
“It’s not fair to the horses that have been in the game since Day 1, said Coburn. “It’s all or nothing. This is not fair to these horses that have been running their guts out for these people who believe in them. This is a coward’s way out, in my opinion. If you’ve got a horse, run him in all three.”
Fom his comments you may not be surprised to learn that Tonalist, the winner of the Belmont Stakes, was, according to the New York Times, “the most lightly raced entrant.” (And it’s not like he doesn’t have some kind of a point; 6 of the last 8 Belmont winners opted out of the first two legs.)
The bitter words cap a contentious stint in the limelight for Coburn, who raised hell at the Churchill Downs for the misspelling of California on the horse’s saddle blanket, and whined about the mother of his fellow owner getting a poor view of the Kentucky Derby.
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