Baltimore, MD, United States (4E Sports) – California Chrome’s chance of becoming the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years is alive after he was approved to wear a nasal strip at the Belmont Stakes June 7.
Three stewards at Belmont Park on Monday unanimously approved the nasal strips for all horses running at racetracks of the New York Racing Association, effective immediately.
“Equine nasal strips do not enhance equine performance nor do they pose a risk to equine health or safety and as such do not need to be regulated,” New York State Gaming Commission Equine Medical Director Scott E. Palmer wrote in his analysis of the strips.
Palmer added that strips are applied to the top of the nose and anyone can see their use prior to a race.
“If improperly applied, equine nasal strips cannot interfere with performance. In my opinion equine nasal strips fall into the same category as tongue-ties,” Palmer said, adding that there is no evidence that the strips enable a horse to run faster.
Earlier, California Chrome trainer Art Sherman, said that if horses weren’t allowed to run with a nasal strip, his owners might not want to run him at all in the Belmont, despite the huge magnitude of the race.
“We put in an official request Sunday to New York officials to get the nasal strip, and it looks like we’re going to be able to use it,” Sherman said outside California Chrome’ barn at Pimlico Race Course.
California Chrome is 6-0 since he started wearing the nasal strips in races only, not for training.