California Chrome and own Steve Coburn, who apologized today for his Belmont Stakes rant.

California Chrome and own Steve Coburn, who apologized today for his Belmont Stakes rant.

Steve Coburn , owner of California Chrome, had a burst of emotional honesty when he criticized how the Belmont Stakes race is organized. But he took it all back today on a morning news show. Too bad; he was right.

Coburn was stung when Chrome, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, finished fourth in the grueling mile-and-a-half race.

The winner, Tonalist, had bypassed the other stakes races. It was clear Chrome had tired in the stretch from back-to-back races.

“This is his third very big race,” he said about the three-year-old. “These other horses, they always set them out. They set them out, and try to upset the apple cart,” he groused.

“I’m 61-years-old and I’ll never see in my lifetime a Triple Crown winner because of the way they do this. It’s not fair to these horses that have been in the game since day one.

“I 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,” he said.

“This is a coward’s way out, in my opinion,” he added.

He’s dead right of course. The three races are grueling for horses because they are spaced so closely together. No wonder only nine horses ran in the Preakness.

But today (June 9) he took it all back on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“I’m ashamed of myself,” he told Robin Roberts. “I need to apologize to a lot of people.”

That’s a shame. Because in the heat of the moment, he spoke the truth.

You don’t bring out a fresh team in football to play the fourth quarter against a team that’s already played three quarters of a game.

What’s the point of racing for the Triple Crown, if the playing field is tilted against you.

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