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May 23, 2014

California Chrome could face large field in Belmont Stakes

By: SPORTS NETWORK


Elmont, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - California Chrome could face a large field in the Belmont Stakes on June 7, if the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner makes a bid for the Triple Crown.

The New York Racing Association on Sunday announced its potential list of challengers for the 1 1/2-mile "Test of a Champion," and it could again include Commanding Curve and Ride On Curlin.

Commanding Curve was second in the Kentucky Derby and skipped the Preakness. Ride On Curlin was the runner-up in the second leg of the Triple Crown on Saturday after a seventh-place finish in Louisville.

Whether California Chrome even gets a chance to run at Belmont Park in three weeks is apparently a question.

The 3-year-old chestnut colt has been using nasal strips to help his breathing during races and NYRA doesn't usually allow such supplements.

Trainer Art Sherman reportedly said Sunday it might be an issue, and the New York Gaming Commission released a statement on the subject, saying neither it nor NYRA had received a request to use nasal strips in the Belmont Stakes.

"If request to use nasal strips is made, decision on whether to permit or not will be evaluated & determined by the stewards," the NYSGC wrote on its Twitter feed Sunday. "Only equipment specifically approved by stewards shall be worn or carried by jockey or horse in a race."

California Chrome can become the 12th horse to win the Triple Crown and first since Affirmed in 1978.

Other potential starters for the Belmont include Preakness show horse Social Inclusion and Derby third-place finisher Danza. Other Derby runners that could run in the Belmont are Wicked Strong (fourth), Samraat (fifth) and Intense Holiday (12th). Kid Cruz, eighth in the Preakness, is also possible, while newcomers could include Tonalist and Commissioner.



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