California Chrome Owner Steve Coburn Apologizes for Seriously Messing Up Horse's PR at Belmont Stakes
It's been a bad weekend for California Chrome. Not only did the Kentucky Derby winner miss out on his opportunity to become a Triple Crown winner — finishing in fourth place at the Belmont Stakes — but his owner, Steve Coburn, became the object of ridicule after making some ill-advised comments following California Chrome's loss. But, like any public person who finds his or her way into the limelight for all the wrong reasons, Coburn has officially apologized for his words, in hopes of reversing a nice narrative surrounding California Chrome that has gone considerably sour.
Just days after telling Good Morning America that California Chrome racing against horses who didn't race in the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness was like "like me at 6-2 playing basketball against a kid in a wheelchair," Coburn told the morning show that he was "ashamed" of his words, which overshadowed the Belmont Stakes' winning horse, Tonalist.
They run a beautiful race and the horse that won the race, they deserved that. I did not mean to take anything away from them.
And about that unfortunate PR turnaround surrounding California Chrome, who became a favorite not only because he could have been the first Triple Crown winner since 1978, but also because of his underdog status?
I need to apologize to the world and America. Our fans that have written us and given us so much support, I apologize. I sincerely apologize ... I just wanted so much for this horse to win the triple crown for the people of America and I was very emotional, very emotional.
So, will California Chrome become "America's horse" once again? He might have a chance — trainer Art Sherman told reporters after the Belmont Stakes that "We'll be here to fight another day." So long as Coburn isn't.