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posted: 6/10/2014 5:18 AM

Why horse racing should pay attention to boxing

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  • After finishing fourth in the Belmont Stakes, jockey Victor Espinoza cools down California Chrome. Mike North says there should be a match race in two months with California Chrome and Tonalist.

    After finishing fourth in the Belmont Stakes, jockey Victor Espinoza cools down California Chrome. Mike North says there should be a match race in two months with California Chrome and Tonalist.
    Associated Press


The owner of California Chrome, Steve Coburn, let the racing world have it the other day.

He ranted immediately after the Belmont Stakes that his horse had the odds stacked against him because there were horses -- including the eventual winner, Tonalist -- who didn't race in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.

Coburn said some things that were true and some that weren't, and appropriately apologized on Monday for calling the other horses and owners who didn't race in all three Triple Crown legs cowards.

I don't know what will be done to change things -- my guess is nothing -- but I find it puzzling that horse racing is always slow on the uptake. For example, when two boxers fight and bring in spectacular numbers or there is a major controversy, the first thing any good promoter does is talk rematch!

If I am Dick Duchossois, the chairman of Arlington International Racecourse, I'm on the phone with the owners of both Tonalist and California Chrome and I'm putting together a match race.

I talked to NBC thoroughbred race analyst Randy Moss, and he agreed it would be a great idea. He said get a corporate sponsor and see where it goes.

I guess it must be up to me, so I am suggesting Arlington put together a proposal for the race to happen in two months.

Horse people complain and cry for government to help them with slot machines and more racing days. Why wouldn't the Belmont track put it together themselves? Picture the end of July and about 100,000 people in attendance and a record-breaking television audience on a Saturday.

Breeders' Cup racing aside, why does horse racing close the barn door after the Triple Crown races are over? Why don't they build on their momentum and create more buzz for the industry?

They probably won't do this, but boy wouldn't it be fun?

Good time Johnny:

Speaking of fun, I don't think many people are having more fun than Johnny Manziel, the new quarterback for the Cleveland Browns.

There were more pictures and videos released of him partying in Austin, Texas. It is the first time I thought that maybe he should check himself a bit.

I am definitely not lecturing or preaching to him -- I can't because I had plenty of fun and most people in his shoes would be doing the same thing. You can't party consistently and not eventually have a misstep.

I love the guy, but even I didn't start drinking champagne out of the bottle until I was in my 40s. He's doing it at 21.

I know he's somewhat new to the rodeo, but I'll bet he's been having fun since his high school days.

Hey Johnny, keep it rolling, but just slow down a little.

He would probably ask who am I to say something. I've been down that road, and sooner or later it will take a bad turn.

Program notes:

Follow me on Twitter@ north2north, and listen to Fox Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman and myself from 5-8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Fox Sports radio, and check me out on iHeart radio or

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at For more, visit

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