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Parting Schotts

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Transcript of California Chrome co-owner Coburn's post-Belmont Stakes comments

By Ken Schott
Saturday, June 7, 2014

If you watched NBC's interview of Steve Coburn, one of the owners of California Chrome, after Chrome saw his Triple Crown bid fall when Tonalist won the Belmont Stakes, he wasn't a happy man.

Tonalist didn't qualify for the Kentucky Derby, and didn't run in the Preakness Stakes. He won the Grade II Peter Pan at Belmont on May 10.

Coburn, needles to say, was incensed that a horse who didn't run in the first two legs of the Triple Crown won the Belmont and denied his horse a chance of winning the Triple Crown, something that hasn't been done since 1978.

Here is a transcript of Coburn's interview with NBC, which was provided by NYRA.

"I thought he was gaining ground, but he didn't have it in him, apparently. You know what? This is his third very big race. These other horses, they always set him out. They set him out and try to upset the apple cart. I'll never see, and I'm 61 years old, another Triple Crown winner in my lifetime because of the way they do this. It's not fair to these horses that have been in the game since day one. If you don't make enough points to get into the Kentucky Derby you can't run in the other two races. It's all or nothing. It's all or nothing because this is not fair to these horses that have been running their guts out for these people and for the people who believe in them. This is a coward's way out, in my opinion. This is a coward's way out."

Asked if he thought the field ganged up on California Chrome, he said: "Exactly. Our horse had a target on his back and everybody else lays out one and they won't run in the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness; they'll wait until the Belmont. If you've got a horse, run him in all three. Those 20 horses that start in the Kentucky Derby are the only 20 eligible to run in all three races. This is a coward's way out."

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