BALTIMORE (WHAS11) – Steve Coburn’s insult to Churchill Downs’ hospitality is the latest in a series of complaints from different jockeys and owners.
In the New York Times, Coburn’s wife explains how California Chrome’s co-owner Perry Martin’s 83-year-old mother didn’t receive good treatment from the facilities.
“The hospitality we received at Churchill Downs wasn't very good," Coburn said. "It was a bad day for my partner and his family."
The Martins drove her down from Michigan for the Derby and according to them; the Churchill staff didn’t help them get the elderly woman, who uses a wheelchair, to her seat or down to the Winner’s Circle.
The experience was so bad that the Martins chose not to attend the Preakness and decided to watch the race with their kids at an undisclosed location.
Some were happy that he spoke out while others defended the state of Kentucky via social media.
John Asher, Vice President of Racing Communications released a statement Saturday evening:
“We’re disappointed the overall experience for the owners of California Chrome apparently did not measure up to the stellar performance of their horse in the Kentucky Derby. We have an excellent and veteran team of volunteers from throughout our community that serve as official Kentucky Derby hosts and they work tirelessly to communicate with owners and trainers and to help guide them through the Kentucky Derby Week experience. Our team worked to satisfy the California Chrome team’s needs when they were communicated to us and regret that their experience at Churchill Downs appears to have fallen short of expectations. We would certainly look forward to discussing with them any issues stemming from their Derby experience, and wish California Chrome and his team to best in their pursuit of the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes.”