California Chrome’s owner apologized Monday for criticizing the winning horse’s team after Chrome finished fourth in the bid for the Triple Crown.

Immediately after the race, Steve Coburn called some fellow owners cowards for not running their horses in all three races.

“Where he was wrong is you knew that going in,” John Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew. “You can’t complain after you lose about something you knew was happening before you went in. And if you don’t like it, then just don’t do it.”

Tonalist, a horse that had not raced in the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness, edged out Commissioner to win the Belmont.

“I read a statistic that nine of the last Belmont winners didn’t run in the race before that, in the Preakness, so this is nothing new,” Madden said. “This didn’t happen like they’re going down the race track and this jumped out. This has been happening for years.”

Coburn’s remarks renewed the debate on whether the three races are bunched too closely together.

“We talk about safety in all the other sports and maybe we have to talk about safety in horse racing,” Madden said. “These are young horses, and they’re still growing and they’re still gaining weight. And then when you put them on that kind of back to back to back schedule, I don’t know that they’re ready for it. There are some times when a horse just isn’t ready to race and they’re not ready to be their best, so you hold them out and hope that in the next one they can be their best.” (7:55)

Related Story: Co-Owner Apologizes For Post-Race Rant

(Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.)


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