As much as the mainstream media would like to impugn poor sportsmanship upon Mr. Coburn, he did have an extremely valid point during his salty denunciation of the team associated with Tonalist, the winning horse at the Belmont. Tonalist had the luxury and the clear performance advantage of not having raced the Derby nor the Preakness before being allowed to play the role of spoiler at the penultimate track. There is something wholly dissonant about the previous controversy surrounding California Chrome's much ballyhooed nasal strip, yet very little, if any, commotion about allowing rested horses to compete against tired ones.
That is until Mr. Coburn's so-called post-race diatribe. Casual observers, such as myself, and I suspect, millions of other bandwagon "Chromies," had suddenly found a rational explanation for the collective disappointment. Injustice is one of the few intangibles that immediately catalyzes a primordial response and it has a tendency of taking on magmatic proportions when it comes to sports. Perhaps the now embattled owner incorporated this guttural instinct into his calculus or maybe he was just plain pissed : regardless of the possible motivations, he enlightened a viewership that prior to the fanfare was ignorant of the woeful flaws within the horse-racing system.
The declining prestige and relevance of the equine sport was made no secret during NBC's coverage of the Belmont Stakes. In a crowded industry that features its own triple crown of the NFL, NBA, and the MLB, along with the upcoming FIFA World Cup that is to be broadcast via ABC and its ESPN conglomerate, California Chrome's captivating rags to riches story in a sport notorious for its high-brow antics was a God-send for NBC, unexpectedly driving millions of viewers and advertising dollars on the basis of the rarest sporting event, a moment that can only materialize contingent upon the consecutive performance of one specific contestant. That it was revealed that the field was legally rigged against California Chrome was most certainly not in the anticipated script for NBC's producers, considering the potential damage the revelation incurs upon future revenue.
But this detracts from an even greater truth...(read more here!)