California Chrome co-owner apologizes for post-race tirade

Steve Coburn, co-owner of California Chrome waves to fans at Belmont Park on June 7, 2014 in...

Steve Coburn, co-owner of California Chrome waves to fans at Belmont Park on June 7, 2014 in Elmont, New York. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/AFP)

The Sports Xchange

, Last Updated: 11:28 PM ET

California Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn apologized Monday for his weekend tirade against Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist and the Triple Crown rules.

Coburn told ABC that he wanted to "apologize to everyone associated with Tonalist" and "all the horse racing in the world."

"Very ashamed of myself," Coburn said. "Very ashamed. I need to apologize to a lot of people."

After winning the first two legs of the Triple Crown -- the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes -- California Chrome finished the Belmont Stakes in a tie for fourth. No horse has won the Triple Crown in 36 years.

"It's just the emotion of the whole journey coming together at one time," Coburn said.

Colburn's wife, Caroline said: "I'm proud of him for coming up here and doing this. It was something we needed to do. Our story has given so much joy to so many people. I hope that this 30 seconds doesn't destroy all that."

Tonalist, who did not race in the Kentucky Derby or Preakness, won the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. That drew the ire of Colburn during interviews on Saturday and Sunday.

"It says Triple Crown," he told ESPN on Sunday.

"You nominate your horse for the Triple Crown. That means three. Even the Triple Crown trophy has three points on it. So when you earn enough points to run in the Kentucky Derby, those 20 horses that start in the Kentucky Derby should be the only 20 allowed to run in the Preakness and the Belmont for the Triple Crown."

Coburn also made a strange analogy on Saturday that he repeated on Sunday.

"These people nominate their horses for the Triple Crown and then they hold out two (races) and then come back and run one," Coburn told ESPN.

"That would be like me at 6-2 playing basketball with a kid in a wheelchair. They haven't done anything with their horses in the Triple Crown. There were three horses in this race that ran in the first two -- California Chrome, Ride on Curlin and General a Rod -- none of the other horses did. You figure out. You ask yourself, 'Would it be fair if I played basketball with a child in a wheelchair?' "

Coburn apologized to Tonalist's backers on Monday.

"I need to apologize to the winners," he said. "They run a beautiful race. They deserve that. I didn't mean to take anything away from them. ... Congratulations, you got a fantastic horse. He deserved to win. He won the race, fair and square."


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