Co-owner of California Chrome, the horse who almost clinched the Triple Crown at Belmont last Saturday, apologized on “Good Morning America” Monday for his strongly worded post-race condemnation of American thoroughbred horse racing and the winner Tonalist.
Coburn fought through tears on GMA to say that he felt “very ashamed” about his comments. He then issued apologies to those connected with Belmont’s winner, Tonalist, as well as “to all the horse racing in the world.” He also apologized to his wife Caroline who joined him on “GMA” and California Chrome’s other co-owner Perry Martin.
Coburn faced a lot of criticism after making his initial remarks, but also drew out a large swathe of supporters who agreed with Coburn’s qualms, if not his delivery. Mainly, Coburn complained about the manner in which horse races are set up. He said it wasn’t fair to the horses racing for the Triple Crown to have to run alongside fresh horses who hadn’t raced in either the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness.
Coburn now says, he “was wrong” and blamed the outburst on his emotional state after Belmont.
“This is America’s horse, and I wanted so much for this horse to win the Triple Crown for the people of America. I was very emotional,” he said, adding, “I’m going to do better. I promise you, I’ll do better.”
As to California Chrome’s future, he’ll run again, said Coburn. But first he’ll return to his training facility in California to recover from an injury he sustained to his hoof at Belmont when he made contact with another horse.