The Conversation

Triple Crown Whiner 'Ashamed' of Tantrum over Belmont Loss

This morning on ABC News , Steve Coburn apologized for his sore loser remarks following the loss of California Chrome at the Belmont Stakes.

Coburn, appearing with his wife Carolyn said he was "ashamed" of his remarks and congratulated the winner Tonalist. He said "I needed to do this because I was wrong." He also said he wanted Chrome to win "for America."

After the Belmont Stakes, Coburn appeared on camera, ranting about the unfairness of the Triple Crown process.

"I'm 61 years old and I'll never in my lifetime see another Triple Crown. It's not fair to the horses that have been in the race since Day 1," he said.

The Belmont winner, Tonalist, did not race in the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness.

"Look at it this way, if you can't make enough points to get in the Kentucky Derby, you can't run in the other two races. It's all or nothing, because it's not fair to these horses who have been running their guts out since Day 1," Coburn told Rice.

Coburn was convinced that the other horses in the field were there strictly to sabotage California Chrome's shot at the Triple Crown.

"This is the coward's way out," he said angrily while being shoved in the shoulder by his wife in the background.

"Our horse had a target on his back."

But Mr. Coburn knew the rules of the Crown before entering Chrome in the three races, each of which is a stand alone event. If he felt his horse was at such a disadvantage running against "fresh horses" he shouldn't have bothered.

The last Triple Crown was won by Affirmed in 1978. Affirmed ran in the Preakness against four horses who didn't run in the Derby and at the Belmont against one horse who did not run in the Preakness or the Derby and one horse who didn't run in the Preakness but who did run in the Derby.

Kentucky Derby 1978

1st         Affirmed
2nd         Alydar
3rd         Believe It
4th         Darby Creek Road
5th         Esops Foibles
6th         Sensitive Prince
7th         Dr. Valeri
8th         Hoist The Silver
9th         Chief Of Dixieland
10th       Raymond Earl
11th       Special Honor

Preakness 1978

1st     Affirmed     
2nd    Alydar     
3rd     Believe It     
4th     Noon Time Spender*    
5th     Indigo Star*    
6th     Dax S. *   
7th     Track Reward*

Belmont Stakes 1978

1st     Affirmed
2nd     Alydar
3rd     Darby Creek Road*
4th     Judge Advocate*
5th     Noon Time Spender

If you are wondering why there are so many more horses running in these races today, that's another problem entirely.

 


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