California Chrome will be going for the Triple Crown after all. The 3-year-old thoroughbred has just won a sizable victory, albeit off the race track.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the horse’s owner wasn’t sure about racing his horse in the upcoming Belmont Stakes because the state of New York has previously prohibited the use of nasal strips in horse racing — and California Chrome wears a nasal strip to enhance his breathing while running. Evidently, the horse was going to sit the race out, had the team received word that the nasal strip would be been prohibited.
In 2012, I’ll Have Another’s people were told that the horse wouldn’t be permitted to wear a nasal strip in the Belmont Stakes. The horse had worn a nasal strip during the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness — and he won both races. While many were concerned about the horse racing without the nasal strip, he scratched because of a leg injury the day before the Belmont, crushing the Triple Crown dream. For this reason, people didn’t get to see whether or not the nasal strip made a difference in how the horse performed.
According to CNN, no one will have to wonder how California Chrome will run without a nasal strip because he won’t have to. He will be allowed to wear his nasal strip and will race in the Belmont Stakes (as long as he is deemed healthy enough and he doesn’t scratch before June 7).
“While the manufacturer, Flair, says horses who wear the strips ‘use five to eight percent less energy at high speed and during recovery,’ New York State Gaming Commission Equine Medical Director Scott E. Palmer told the racetrack stewards that there’s no evidence they confer a competitive advantage.”
Three stewards at Belmont Park “unanimously approved the nasal strips for all horses running at racetracks of the New York Racing Association” on Monday, according to USA Today. The strips are not “illegal” and do not interfere with a horse’s performance, which is why the rules have been changed for this year’s race and future horse races in New York.
California Chrome has gone 6-0 since he started wearing the strips. He will make his journey by van to Belmont Park at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning.
Will California Chrome be the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 36 years? Do you think that the horse’s nasal strip makes a difference in how he runs? How do you feel about the stewards changing the rule this late in the game?
[Photo courtesy of Bing]