California Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn, who angrily criticized the Triple Crown’s rules after his horse failed to win the Belmont Stakes, apologized for his comments on Monday.
During an appearance on “Good Morning America,” a contrite Coburn apologized to various individuals who were affected by his post-Belmont rant. “Very ashamed of myself, very ashamed. I need to apologize to a lot of people, including my wife, Carolyn,” he said.
“First of all, I need to apologize to the winners. They run 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’s apology came just one day after his Sunday appearance on “Good Morning America,” during which he compared the format of the Triple Crown to himself playing basketball against a “kid in a wheelchair,” USA Today notes.
California Chrome, who won the first two legs of the Triple Crown after victories at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, finished in fourth place at Belmont on Saturday. Immediately after the race, a furious Coburn criticized the sport of horse racing for allowing Tonalist, a horse who did not run in either of the Triple Crown’s first two legs, to enter (and win) the Belmont Stakes.
“I’ll never see -- and I’m 61 years old -- another Triple Crown winner in my lifetime because of the way they do this,” he told NBC. “It’s not fair to these horses that have been in the game since day one. If you don’t make enough points to get into the Kentucky Derby you can’t run the other two races.”
“It’s all or nothing,” Coburn added. “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. This is a coward’s way out, in my opinion. This is a coward’s way out.”