Tonalist won the 2014 Belmont Stakes, effectively shutting California Chrome out of a Triple Crown. The owner of California Chrome was pretty unhappy about it too. Rather than taking the loss with class and grace, he gave everyone a piece of his mind according to NJ.com on Saturday.
After the race, California Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn took the opportunity during his NBC interview to blast other horse racers. He said those who raced their horses in the Belmont Stakes but not the other two major races "took the cowards way out." Coburn pointed his finger and ranted on for several minutes while his wife tried to stop him. He said it is not fair to horses and owners such as himself who earn spots in all three races only to lose to a horse that couldn't qualify for the likes of the Kentucky Derby.
The look on Coburn's wife's face was pretty priceless. She quite literally dropped her jaw in surprise as he went on about his second place finish. At one point she physically tried to stop him from ranting and he turned to her. He told his wife, "Well I don't care."
Here is the full text of what Steve Coburn said:
I thought he was gaining ground, but he didn’t have it in him apparently. You know what, he’s been in three...this is his third big race, these other horses, they always set them out. They set them out to try to upset the apple cart. I’m 61 years old and I’ll never see in my lifetime, I’ll never see another Triple Crown winner because of the way they do this. It’s not fair to the horses that have been in the game since Day One.
I look at it this way, if you can’t make enough points to get into the Kentucky Derby, you can’t race in the other two races. It’s all or nothing. Because this is not fair to these horses that have been running their guts out for these people and for the people that believe in them to have somebody to come up...this is the coward’s way out in my opinion, this is the coward’s way out.
Our horse had a target on its back, and everybody else lays out one or they won’t run in the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness, they’ll wait until the Belmont. You know what, if you’ve got a horse…that earns points to run in the Kentucky Derby, those 20 horses to start the Kentucky are the only 20 available to run in all three races.
Tonalist owner Robert Evans was also interviewed by NBC. When asked about comments made by Steve Coburn, he chose not to comment.
Each year horseracing fans hope for a Triple Crown winner and have not had one since Affirmed won in 1978. This year California Chrome had a chance to be the first horse to win all three races in 36 years but it was not to be. California Chrome placed in a dead tie for fourth place with Wicked Strong. California Chrome was a favorite to win the Belmont Stakes, as they had already taken the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.
What do you think of Steve Coburn's Belmont Stakes rant? Do you think horses should be required to run all three races or is he just a sore loser?