California Chrome co-owner Perry Martin began his acceptance speech for Horse of the Year at last night’s Eclipse Awards with a modest declaration: “Everyone told me I did a wonderful job, so I’d just like to say, ditto.” He then rambled on for nine minutes of complaints and odd stories before being forced to leave.
Martin’s first extended bit involved using the silica gel packet that came in his tuxedo pocket to make a joke about how dumb the horse-racing media is. No one laughed. One of his companions on stage checked his phone (presumably out of boredom, from the expression on his face) at the 2:40 mark. There were still more than six minutes of speech left to go.
From there, Martin fact-checked reporters who have falsely written that he still lives in California, accused a different set of reporters of treating him like a “mass murderer” by interviewing his neighbors, wondered why more people in central California don’t breed Kentucky Derby winners, promised that California Chrome never lived in his backyard at any point, and asked if that was the exit music for him to leave the stage. (It was.)
It’s tempting to say that the uncomfortable faces of everyone around him are the best part, but there’s also how genteel horse-racing media has reacted.