Steve Coburn gives teary-eyed apology after California Chrome rant (Video)

Steve-Coburn-apologyCalifornia Chrome owner Steve Coburn went on “Good Morning America” with his wife on Monday morning and apologized for the rant he spewed out after his horse failed to capture the Triple Crown on Saturday. Coburn, who was angry that Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist had fresh legs after not running in the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness, fought back tears as he spoke.

“I’m very ashamed of myself,” he said. “I need to apologize to a lot of people, including my wife Caroline. I need to apologize to the winners. They ran a beautiful race. Their horse won the race, they deserve that. I did not mean to take anything away from them.”

Coburn then looked over at his wife and issued an apology. Caroline tried to stop Coburn at one point during his rant on Saturday and he turned around and shouted, “I don’t care!”

“I want to apologize to my wife Caroline,” he continued. “She has literally stood behind me since we started this journey.”

The whole thing reeked of a PR-driven apology, and it was. Coburn ripped Churchill Downs after Chrome won the Preakness, so he is no stranger to going off during interviews. It obviously caught up to him from a negative PR standpoint, especially after he embarrassed his wife on national TV.

Steve Coburn goes on huge rant after California Chrome loses (Video)

Steve CoburnSteve Coburn, the outspoken owner of Triple Crown contender California Chrome, went off on a big rant after his horse lost the Belmont Stakes Saturday to fall short of the Triple Crown.

Coburn was fuming that his horse finished fourth and that the winner — Tonalist — had fresh legs for the Belmont.

Unlike Chrome, which won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, Tonalist did not run in the first two legs of the Triple Crown and therefore was not as worn down as many of the other horses.

Owners holding their horses out of some of the Triple Crown races has become common over the years, which gives those horses a major advantage over the ones running in all three. That is probably the biggest reason why we have not seen a Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, and Coburn does not think that should be allowed.

“It’s not fair to these horses that have been in the game since day one. I look at it this way: if you can’t make enough points to race to get into the Kentucky Derby, you can’t run in the other two races.”

What was great was how his wife tried to get him to stop ranting and he responded, “I don’t care!”

Coburn is not stranger to going off in interviews. After his horse won the Preakness, he used his interview as an opportunity to rip Churchill Downs.

Tonalist ends California Chrome’s Triple Crown bid with win at Belmont Stakes (Video)

There will be no Triple Crown this year.

California Chrome lacked the closing speed down the final stretch that he had at the Preakness, Kentucky Derby and Santa Anita Derby and finished tied for fourth at the Belmont Stakes Saturday to miss out on the Triple Crown.

Tonalist won the race and had fresh legs after not running the Derby or Preakness. He did win the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park in May, so he already was used to the track.

Here’s a look at how close the margin of victory was for Tonalist and how far behind Chrome was:

Tonalist Belmont Stakes

California Chrome nasal strips popular with fans at Belmont Stakes

Victor Espinoza California Chrome nasal strip

They’ll do anything to make a buck these days, huh?

California Chrome wears a nasal strip when racing and his owners even had an issue with the Belmont Stakes when it appeared that they might not let the horse wear one for the race. New York didn’t allow it, but they changed the rule to allow California Chrome to wear it. Now some geniuses are capitalizing on the attention.

Purple nasal strips with “California Chrome” written on them were being sold at Belmont at the price of 2 for $5.

CNN has the full story on the nasal strip, which is called a Flair Equine Nasal Strip. The strips are designed to help horses breathe and reduce the chance of pulmonary bleeding.

I just hope Chrome is getting a cut of all this action. Guy probably could use the additional revenue for his 401k.

Here are some other fans wearing the strips:

California Chrome will be allowed to wear nasal strip

California Chrome

The horse racing world was given a brief scare over the weekend when speculation began building that New York racing authorities will not allow California Chrome to wear the nasal strip he wore while winning the first two legs of the Triple Crown. Chrome’s trainer Art Sherman said Chrome’s owners might want him to sit out the Belmont Stakes if the strip is not allowed, but fortunately we don’t have to worry about that.

According to ESPN’s Jeannine Edwards, California Chrome’s people were informed by the NYRA on Monday morning that the horse is free to use the nasal strip.

Chrome, who was a 300 to 1 underdog at the Kentucky Derby, has gone 6-0 since he began wearing the nasal strip during races. It is designed to allow more airflow into the horse’s nose while running. Sherman wondered over the weekend if not wearing the strip would affect the horse.

“I don’t think so. … But who knows because he’s had it on for all these wins?” he said.

No one should be surprised that Chrome will be allowed to wear the strip, as the horse will try to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. Not having California Chrome at the Belmont Stakes would have been a ratings nightmare.

California Chrome owner Steve Coburn takes shot at Churchill Downs

Steve Coburn

Steve Coburn, the owner of California Chrome, took a shot at the folks at Churchill Downs after his horse won the Preakness Stakes on Saturday.

“I just want to thank all the people of Maryland for all the hospitality that they’ve shown us,” Coburn said in his post-race speech on NBC. “And Churchill, you need to take a lesson from this. You really, really do. Because these people have been absolutely fabulous.”

This is not the first time Coburn has taken a shot at the service/hospitality at Churchill Downs, and he’s not the first person to take exception with the way the track has handled people. As pointed out in the comments, Hall of Fame jockey Ron Turcotte wrote an article a few weeks ago complaining about the lack of accommodation from the folks at Churchill Downs. Our friend Rick Bozich also wrote about jockey Jean Cruguet having problems with Churchill Downs.

Why would he bring it up on national TV at that time? It’s obvious this is an issue he wants addressed. The man who founded “Dumbass Partners” wants to inspire some changes.

California Chrome wins Preakness Stakes (Video)

California Chrome won the 139th Preakness Stakes on Saturday to give himself a shot at the Triple Crown.

California Chrome, which was a 1:2 favorite at post time, finished with an unofficial time of 1:54:84. He got out to a great start and was challenged by Ride on Curlin down the final stretch. It was not as easy of a win for California Chrome as the Kentucky Derby, but he pulled it out. He also got some help from Social Inclusion, which placed third, in the form of a bump against Curlin that helped Chrome maintain the lead.

After taking the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, California Chrome has a shot to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.

California Chrome