We needed to end this Steve Coburn mess before Dr. Phil got involved, and thank the merciful Lord we did. California Chrome’s co-owner, who went on two unhinged rants about the Belmont Stakes over the weekend — which included calling a horse a coward and challenging kids in wheelchairs to a basketball game (or something like that) — is finally in apology mode. My theory? That hat was too tight.
Coburn and his wife Carolyn (whom he yelled at following the race on Saturday) appeared on “Good Morning America” this morning, and tearfully apologized to Robin Roberts. Because Robin Roberts is a sort of low-level Oprah.
It was also revealed on the show that California Chrome was injured during the Belmont. But Coburn said the horse should recover, and plans to race it again.
“I’m very ashamed of myself. I need to apologize to a lot of people. … I want to apologize to all the horse racing world, to Carolyn. Also to [co-owner] Perry Martin and his family.
“[Crying now] This is America’s horse. I wanted so much for this horse to win the triple crown, and I was pretty emotional. Very emotional.”
Speaking for myself, “America’s horse” is the one working on a cattle ranch, or roaming free somewhere as God intended. The ones bred for racing often have a more tenuous existence. According to The New York Times, an average of 24 horses die each week at racetracks across the U.S. — this despite the industry having promised to improve safety for horses and riders, and to remove drugs from the sport.
Improving safety should be Coburn’s crusade. If you want to cry about something, there’s that.