California Chrome Co-owner stays humble through success

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Updated: 5/16/2014 10:24 pm

RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- California Chrome owner Steve Coburn has much deeper pockets than he did one month ago. Coburn and the horse’s co-owner are raking in over $2.5 million dollars in Kentucky Derby winnings alone.

The Topaz Lake man also made a $1,000 Kentucky Derby bet on his colt in January, when California Chrome's odds were 200-1.

"I know our checking accounts are a little bit better than what it used to be and so is our savings account," said Coburn. "As far as changing me, no. When we leave here this Tuesday after the Preakness, we are flying home and I’ll go back to work."

Coburn already returned to work between traveling to Louisville and Baltimore.

The nation’s most famous thoroughbred's co-owner is one of 13 employees manufacturing magnet strips for credit cards and hotel room keys at JCP Enterprises in Gardnerville.

"I’ve got a responsibility to the people that hired me and I am going to fulfill my responsibilities," said Coburn. "That’s what I do, that’s what I am. I’m just an everyday guy and I am just blessed that this is happening to me and my partner."

California Chrome is Coburn's first run at thoroughbred racing after a life with working horses on cattle ranches. "It gives incentive to every other little guy out there that, you know what, if you pursue your dream the dream can be fulfilled as long as you are willing to stay in it and work hard at it. That’s all I can say, we’ve just been blessed with this colt."

Coburn can be the first owner to win the Triple Crown in 36 years. Once the ride is over, however, it’s back to work. "I’m only 61 and I need insurance," laughed Coburn. "I’d go back to work because I love my job."

Coburn said he could work at the Gardnerville company for ten more years, but plans to get his old pick-up truck a new paint job, thanks to his recent winnings.

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