California Chrome is one victory away from horse racing's Triple Crown after winning the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, but could a nasal strip keep the horse out of the Belmont Stakes on June 7? California Chrome has worn a Flair Equine Nasal Strip during his current six-race winning streak, but horses at the Belmont are not allowed to wear one.
Trainer Art Sherman on Sunday said it is possible that co-owner Perry Martin, who suggested his horse wear the strip, could pull California Chrome out of the race, according to Gary Mihoces of USA Today:
"This guy Perry Martin, he might not run if they say you can't run with a nasal strip. He's very funny about things like that," said Sherman, a day after his horse followed up his Kentucky Derby win with a victory in the Preakness.
Mihoces goes on to write that the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner, I'll Have Another, wore a nasal strip in those victories and would have done so without it at the Belmont before injury forced a scratch.
New York permits nasal strips only in harness racing.
Sherman says he heard about this rule on Sunday and isn't sure why the Belmont doesn't allow them. Per Mihoces:
"We just put it on because he (Martin) is kind of a guy that likes to test (things)," said Sherman. "He thinks it's really beneficial. … I don't know what the deal is (in New York). I heard about it today.
"All over the country, they let you wear them. Why would New York not?"
Sherman plans on talking with racing officials to understand the situation over the nasal strip.