« Nick's Notes

A Horse (owner) of A Different Color

by Nick Vitrano

Well, well, well, Steve Coburn. Cue the Cyndi Lauper: "I see your true colors...shining through."

Let me first say this regarding the post-race rant of California Chrome's owner: he's absolutely right. I agree with him 100%. But man, what a crummy loser.

The rule isn't new. It's as old as the sport. And it's certainly no secret. Oh, and it's also what makes winning the Triple Crown so special. It takes a nearly unfathomably gifted horse and jockey to pull it off.

Coburn knew what was up, but we sure didn't hear anything like this out of ol' Steverino's mouth prior to the race, prior to the Preakness, after the Preakness, heck prior to (or after) the Derby. For something about which a man is so fundamentally passionate, you'd think it would have come up.

Coburn rode his funsy, feel good story to public darling status, feasted at the trough of public adoration under a thick veil of false facade. Perhaps we're the fools, for we fell for it. We believed him "just one of the guys," a commoner, like us, in a world of bourgeoisie. Turns out he's just a spoiled a*s.

Or perhaps he began as a commoner, but something happened along the way. Indeed that appears possible, for who saw this coming? By the time the Belmont rolled around, California Chrome was no longer a Cinderella - the slipper indeed fit, and the glass sole was wearing thin under the weight of the favorite status to which the colt had risen.

It is often said that, in life, one's true nature emerges in the times of greatest adversity. It's easy when it's easy. Saturday wasn't easy for Steve Coburn. And the real Steve Coburn sure stood up...and embarrassed himself.

P.S., Steve - you're wife was only trying to help you save what little face you had left.