California Chrome wants nasal ruling for Belmont

Sun May 18, 2014 2:57pm EDT
 
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By Julian Linden

NEW YORK (Reuters) - California Chrome's bid to win American horse racing's Triple Crown could be in jeopardy because of a rarely used rule banning nasal strips.

The three-year-old has the chance to become the first horse in 36 years to complete the elusive treble after winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes in impressive style.

The colt only needs to win the Belmont Stakes, in New York on June 7, to complete the set, but his trainer Art Sherman raised the possibility, albeit seemingly remote, that he may not enter the race unless he is allowed to wear a nasal strip.

California Chrome wore a nasal strip in each of his last six races, all of which he won in. Sherman said nasal strips can help horses breathe a little easier and are allowed in most American states.

But New York is one of the rare exceptions, although they not specifically banned and are allowed in harness racing in the Empire State, trainers need to get permission to use them.

Sherman said he would ask New York racing officials for clarification on whether California Chrome could wear the strip and would confer with the horse's owners about what to do if the request was turned down.

“Now that’s going to be interesting,” Sherman told reporters on Sunday morning.

"The horse has been on a six-race winning streak with nasal strips. I don’t know why they would ban you from wearing one, but we’ll have to cross that bridge when we get there, I guess.”   Continued...

 
May 17, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; California Chrome trainer Art Sherman (holding trophy), jockey Victor Espinoza and owner Steven Coburn celebrate after winning the 139th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports