California Chrome owner derides Tonalist's Belmont win

By Evan Hilbert |

tonalist california chrome belmont triple crown
California Chrome owner Steve Coburn was not happy following Saturday's Belmont Stakes. (Getty Images)

Tonalist out-dueled Commissioner in the stretch run of the 2014 Belmont Stakes, foiling California Chrome's bid for the first Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978.

Afterwards, Chrome's owner Steve Coburn delivered an impassioned diatribe denigrating Tonalist's win.

"This is the coward's way out," Coburn said of Tonalist, adding, "our horse had a target on his back."

Essentially, Coburn believes, it appears, that the Kentucky Derby field of 20 be the only horses eligible to run in future Triple Crown races.

(Now would be a good time to mention that Tonalist was on the Derby trail before a lung infection knocked him out of the Grade I Wood Memorial.)

Still, Coburn feels the setup will never allow a future horse to win the Triple Crown. Also, of note, this setup didn't derail the likes of Affirmed and Secretariat or the other nine horses to accomplish the feat.

"I'm 61 years old and I'll never in my lifetime see another Triple Crown," Coburn said on NBC. "It's not fair to the horses that have been in the race since day one.

"Look at it this way, if you can't make enough points to get in the Kentucky Derby, you can't run in the other two races. It's all or nothing, because it's not fair to these horses who have been running their guts out since day one."

Let's leave it at this: It's really hard to win the Triple Crown. I thought everyone already knew that.

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