Sorry, Steve - 06/08/14
California Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn has made quite the stir after his horse finished 4th yesterday at the Belmont. Coburn called other owners and trainers "cheaters" and "cowards" for running horses that hadn't competed previously in the Kentucky Derby and/or Preakness. He's wrong.
Horse racing has a long tradition of "new shooters" coming for the champion after the Kentucky Derby. Eleven previous winners of the Derby and Preakness have had to deal with them and failed, and Chrome did, too. This is precisely why it's so hard to win the Triple Crown. Lessening the standards to win it lessens the accomplishment.
Coburn is new to the sport. California Chrome is the result of his very first breeding. He has caught lightning in a bottle and should be thankful to have had a winner of two of three legs. The odds against this happening are enormous. It's like hitting the lottery. Chrome's trainer, Art Sherman, even said that Coburn hasn't been in the game long and had any bad luck yet. If he's lucky enough to one day have bad luck again in the Belmont, perhaps he'll understand.