California Chrome Owners Angered by "Honor" requests

7/15/14 in Horse Racing   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

Blog Photo - California Chrome Owners Angered by "Honor" requestsWe all cheered when California Chrome won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.  We cheered loudly for him to win the Belmont, and be the first horse in 36 years to win the Triple Crown.  

Sadly, it wasn't to be, as a horse that had not run either for the first two races, Tonalist, took the Belmont Stakes win.  Chrome finished fourth.

However, the horse was the closest to the triple since 2012, and is under demand for all kinds of appearances.  One such request recently came from Del Mar, a track in California.  An honor, right?

One would think so.  And surely there would be some sort of compensation.  After all, the horse can't run to the track.  It's expensive to move the horse, arrange for insurance, trainers, transport, lodgings for trainers and handlers.  Surely Del Mar would be willing to compensate the owners.

Well, this is where the disagreement gets kind of...well....nasty.  Now there is name calling.

Del Mar is hosting Pacific Classic Day, in August.  Chrome's owners requested $50,000 in appearance fees, and Del Mar apparently refused.  Their statement on the matter:

"We'd love to have California Chrome here. It would be great for the fans, but we certainly understand and we hope to see him race here next year."

Chrome's owners came out swinging.  Co-owner, Perry Martin's rebuttal?

"I was supposed to be honored to pay a van driver to drive Chrome to and from Del Mar. Honored to travel 500 miles, put my wife and I up in a hotel then sit under a tent in the hot sun to sign autographs for an hour or two. Honored to pay for an insurance rider to cover the horse in case injured in the performance of non-racing activities. Honored to pay the horse's handlers (groom, exercise rider and hot walker) to work during their usual time off."

Maybe it's just me, but I think a simple "We were unable to come to an agreement regarding the appearance." would have sufficed.  

What about you?  What's your take?
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