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‘Ashamed’ California Chrome owner Steve Coburn apologizes for his bitter, ‘cheaters’ rant after losing Triple Crown

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Two days after his horse lost out on the Triple Crown, and a day after he reiterated his feelings about the 'cheaters' in the field, Coburn came to his senses Monday. 'I need to apologize to a lot of people,' he said on ABC's 'Good Morning America'

âAshamed' California Chrome owner Steve Coburn apologizes for his bitter, âcheaters' rant after losing Triple Crown  - NY Daily News

The co-owner of California Chrome finally admitted that his mouth outran his horse in the Belmont Stakes.

Steve Coburn choked out an emotional apology Monday on “Good Morning America” for his uncharitable remarks about the horse that won the race after California Chrome came in a disappointing fourth.

“I’m very ashamed of myself, very ashamed,” the 61-year-old, with his wife, Carolyn, seated next to him, told Robin Roberts. “I need to apologize to a lot of people.”

Right after Tonalist won the Belmont Stakes Saturday, ending California’s Chrome quest for the Triple Crown, Coburn erupted with fury saying, “This is the coward’s way out, in my opinion,” and later called those associated with Tonalist “cheaters.”

Coburn explained he thinks it’s unfair to allow horses that don’t run in the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness to compete in the Belmont Stakes.

The cranky co-owner appeared Sunday on “Good Morning America” and doubled down on his Triple Crown comments.

He continued his rant about horses skipping the first two legs of the Triple Crown, comparing it to him “playing basketball with a kid in a wheelchair.”

Both Tonalist and second-place finisher Commissioner did not run in the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness and were fresh horses compared to California Chrome, who was racing for the third time in five weeks.

“First of all, I need to apologize to the winners,” Coburn said Monday. “They ran a beautiful race. Their horse won the race. They deserve that. I did not mean to take anything away from them. I want to apologize to everyone associated with Tonalist.”

Coburn said he got carried away when his horse came up short at Belmont.

“I wanted so much for this horse to win the Triple Crown, for the people of America, and I was very emotional, very emotional.”

During the “GMA” interview Coburn, still wearing his white cowboy hat, reined himself in and congratulated Tonalist, saying the horse “deserved to win.”

“He won the race fair and square. He deserved to win,” Coburn said.

California Chrome entered the Belmont on a six-race win streak and was trying to become horse racing’s first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.

“I need to apologize to the world and America, our fans, who have written us, given us so much support, I apologize, I sincerely apologize,” Coburn said.

Stashed in: Gratitude, Awesome, Pwnies!, Horses, Sports

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I think he gave a good sincere apology, a good example for others on how to own up ;)

I thought it was a good apology, too. Clearly he was emotionally swept up in the moment.

More on how to apologize:

Good Grantland article on missing the triple crown:

I still like the idea of only horses that have been in the previous races being able to enter the next races, but also realize that probably won't bring in as many entrants, so not as much money for the tracks, and not a big field to race?  Otherwise I really feel we may never see a triple crown again, cause the Belmont will always attract, and rightfully so, great distance horses, that stink at sprints.

Perhaps they could make the Triple Crown its own special event, like a triathlon?

Otherwise, I think you're right, it's way too easy to find a rested distance horse.

Which is why winning a Triple Crown is so spectacular!!!  

Also, California Chrome had more against him than racing against a rested horse: According to the Grantland article he had a split hoof and he had a timid rider. Chrome's owners made a strategic mistake in their choice of jockey for the Belmont Stakes and that's where the story should go, not with the system.  

FURTHERMORE, if anyone has a bone to pick, it's California Chrome.  He coulda been a contender.