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May 23, 2014

California Chrome can use nasal strip in Belmont Stakes


Elmont, NY ( - The racing stewards at Belmont Park have approved the use of a nasal strip worn by Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome.

There had been a question as to whether the colt could wear the nasal strip for the Belmont Stakes on June 7.

Art Sherman, California Chrome's trainer, had intimated that he was unsure if his horse would make a run for the Triple Crown without the aid of the nasal strip and on Sunday formally asked the racing stewards for permission to use it.

Stewards then conferred with Dr. Scott E. Palmer, New York State Gaming Commission Equine Medical Director, who agreed that the nasal strip should be permitted.

"I recommend that the stewards at state-based thoroughbred racetracks discontinue their ban on equine nasal strips," wrote Dr. Palmer in a release from the New York State Gaming Commission. "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.

"While there is research to indicate that equine nasal strips decrease airway resistance in horses and may decrease the amount of bleeding associated with EIPH to some degree, I am unfamiliar with any research indicating that equine nasal strips enable a horse to run faster with nasal strips than without them. In other words, there is no evidence they have a performance enhancing effect. Equine nasal strips do not pose a welfare or safety risk to the horse. They 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."

The 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes is the final leg of racing's Triple Crown. California Chrome will try to become the 12th horse to sweep the series and first since Affirmed in 1978.

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