California Chrome's owners returned to Churchill to receive the Derby trophy
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - California Chrome's outspoken owner, Steve Coburn had a different tone Saturday.
"I was nervous, you know, because of what's happened," he said.
Compare that to his statements just a few weeks ago. "Churchill Downs needs to call Maryland to get a lesson in hospitality," he said after the Kentucky Derby. "It's a coward's way out," Coburn said after the Belmont.
Coburn came to receive the shiny 18-inch Derby Trophy made of gold which was won by his horse California Chrome. This after criticizing Churchill Downs just weeks ago.
"I apologized, what else do you people want. I apologized and my apology has been accepted," Coburn said.
The crowd did clap though there were some boos - something Coburn knew was coming.
"I got some boos, and you know, I deserve them. Thank you for the boos, I deserve them. But then we've got a tremendous fan base."
Fans came to get his autograph and take pictures.
"He wasn't ready for primetime. He wasn't ready for a camera and a microphone stuck in his face as most of us wouldn't be," one person said.
"It's water under the bridge. It's a heat of the moment type of thing," another fan said.
Some are still not won over, hoping lessons would be learned.
"His true colors come out so," another man said.
Coburn isn't backing down from calling the rules of the Triple Crown unfair.
"I've had over a thousand text messages and a thousand phone calls and 97 percent of them agree with me," he told the crowd of reporters.
If not for changing Triple Crown rules, there is one thing Coburn hopes people will be united on: the love of California Chrome.
"You can hate me all you want to, but don't hate my horse because he's the real star, not me," he said.