When California Chrome finished fourth at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday and lost his Triple Crown bid to Tonasil, co-owner Steve Coburn said Tonasil’s owners took the “coward’s way out” by not racing Tonasil in the previous two legs of the Triple Crown.
Coburn called for an overhaul of the Triple Crown system where only horses that qualify for the Kentucky Derby are eligible for all three Triple Crown races. After his interview on NBC, he went off again, this time referring to Tonasil’s owners as cheaters.
“They’re a bunch of goddamn cheaters,” Coburn told Yahoo Sports. “If your horse doesn’t even have the points to run in the Kentucky Derby, he shouldn’t be able to run in the Triple Crown. They’re goddamn cheaters.”
California Chrome was trying to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, and Coburn told the outlet that the loss “hurt a lot because this isn’t my horse, this is America’s horse. … We’ve still got the best horse in the United States.”