Well, this is awkward. Taking the stage at the Eclipse Awards, California Chrome co-owner and co-breeder Perry Martin had a unique approach to his acceptance speech for Horse of the Year. "Everyone told me I did a wonderful job," he began, "so I’d just like to say, ditto."
He then proceeded to go on a presidential ramble for seven minutes while thanking zero people and complaining about the media he's received in connection with his Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes-winning horse. It was an acceptance speech better suited to the Festivus pole, as he aired grievances about small indignities and fact-checked reporters. He called out a neighbor for suggesting he kept California Chrome in his backyard. (He doesn't.) He called out the broadcasters who talked to his neighbors in the first place. And he fact-checked reporters who said he lives in California. (He moved.)
The awkwardness began immediately, as he did a horrible bit on a silica gel packet he found in his tuxedo and how it's a lot like the horse racing media. The laughs never arrived. More of the same followed until after 44 seconds of music he realized he was being played off.
The people on stage with him certainly felt the awkwardness. Tense glances crossed the stage and unamused grimaces sat behind Martin throughout the speech. One man even checked his phone about three minutes into the speech. And once Martin was finished, the man standing behind him held it together for a few seconds, but then he had to bury his face in his hands laughing and shaking his head.
Shockingly, the response to his speech hasn't been particularly positive. He's clearly a better breeder than an orator.
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