California Chrome, who is trying to be the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, will reportedly be allowed to wear his nasal strips in three weeks at the Belmont States.
Saying “there is no longer sufficient justification to prevent or regulate their use,” Scott Palmer, the equine medical director for the New York State Gaming Commission, “instructed state stewards to discontinue their ban on the 4-by-6-inch adhesive patch, similar to the Breathe Right strips worn by NFL players and chronic snorers, designed to ease breathing by decreasing upper-airway nasal resistance,” according to a report in the New York Times.“
BREAKING: NYRA just informed Cal Chrome camp that they CAN use the nasal strip
— Jeannine Edwards (@jeanninee12) May 19, 2014
After California Chrome won the Preakness, trainer Art Sherman suggested that California Chrome’s co-owners may not allow the horse to race for the Triple Crown if the horse was prohibited from wearing The Flair Equine Nasal Strip, which he has worn en route to six straight victories.
“I recommend that the stewards at state-based thoroughbred racetracks discontinue their ban on equine nasal strips,” Palmer reportedly said in a letter sent to racing officials. “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.”
The mile-and-a-half Belmont Stakes will be held on June 7, where California Chrome, winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, will try to be the first California-bred horse and 12th horse in history to take home the Triple Crown. The Belmont is the longest of the three races and is referred to as “The Test of a Champion.”