Coburn stands by controversial comments after Belmont loss - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Coburn stands by controversial comments after Belmont loss

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Steve Coburn Steve Coburn
Trainer Art Sherman Trainer Art Sherman
California Chrome heads to the stable after the Belmont Stakes. California Chrome heads to the stable after the Belmont Stakes.
Kentucky veteran sportswriter Billy Reed Kentucky veteran sportswriter Billy Reed
As much as racing may want a Triple Crown winner, Reed doesn't see the rule changing. As much as racing may want a Triple Crown winner, Reed doesn't see the rule changing.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A day after California Chrome fell short of winning the Triple Crown, his vocal co-owner isn't backing down on his claims that the rules of the race cost him the win.

Some horse racing fans believe Steve Coburn made matters worse with his comments after California Chrome finished fourth at the Belmont Stakes.

"It's not fair to these horses that have been in the game since day one," Coburn said to a reporter, minutes after the loss. "This is the coward's way out."

Chrome's trainer, Art Sherman, said "sometimes he [Coburn] might get a little vocal and not really think about what he is saying." He added he expected Coburn to apologize Sunday morning.

Despite that and Coburn's wife objecting to his comments, Coburn did no such thing in his appearance on several morning shows. "That would be like me, at 6'2", playing basketball with a kid in a wheelchair," he said.

Kentucky veteran sportswriter Billy Reed believes Coburn's Triple Crown tirade hits a trifecta: wrong place, wrong time, wrong message.

"The most distasteful thing in sports, or politics or anything, is a bad loser," Reed said. "The Belmont Stakes is older than the Kentucky Derby, and it has always long been a coveted prize in and of itself. So if an owner wants to point his horse for the Belmont Stakes instead of the Derby, that is perfectly fair and legitimate, and that's been going on for 140 years."

Reed added, as much as racing may want a Triple Crown winner, he doesn't see the rule changing.

"The guy [Coburn] is a novice," Reed said. "He has no respect for the game and how hard it is to do this, and how lucky he is to have a horse as good as California Chrome."

Team Chrome is due back at Churchill Downs Saturday, June 14, to collect his Derby hardware. However, it's unclear who will attend to accept the trophy after Coburn lashed out at Churchill for poor hospitality during a Preakness interview. Health may keep Art Sherman away and jockey Victor Espinoza has another mount.

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