BELMONT (CBS) — Perhaps no one was as disappointed as California Chrome’s owner, Steve Coburn, after the Yuba City hopeful lost the bid for the Triple Crown at Saturday’s Belmont Stakes.
The winning horse, Tonalist didn’t run the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness, and was fresh for the Stakes. In fact, of the 11 horses at the starting gate, only 3, including California Chrome, ran every race.
In the moments after the race, Coburn did not hold back, taking a swipe at the horse racing community.
“Our horse had a target on its back, everybody else lays out one, or they won’t run ’em in the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness, they’ll save ’em for the Belmont.” said Coburn. “If you’ve got a horse that can run all three, if you’ve got enough points to run in the Kentucky Derby, those 20 horses are the only ones eligible … this is the coward’s way out,” he continued.
On Twitter and elsewhere online, Coburn’s comments were immediately blasted as sour grapes and poor sportsmanship.
A short time after the race, California Chrome was looked at by a vet. It appears he got a cut on his right front hoof right out of the starting gate, which may explain the race’s finish.