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Belmont Stakes 2012: Stewards won't permit I'll Have Another to wear nasal strip in Belmont Stakes
By Jay Privman
I’ll Have Another will be forced to make a subtle, but perhaps significant, equipment change when he tries to become racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner in the 144th Belmont Stakes on June 9, not because his connections want to, but because they are being required to do so by Belmont Park stewards.
In both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, I’ll Have Another has raced with a Flair Equine Nasal Strip across his nose, similar to the Breathe Right strips popular with some human athletes. He also wore a nasal strip when he won the Robert Lewis Stakes and Santa Anita Derby, and last summer at Del Mar, when he finished second in the Best Pal Stakes.
[BELMONT STAKES: Video updates, expected field, early odds]
However, stewards at New York Racing Association racetracks, which includes Belmont Park, have decided not to allow nasal strips. This is not a New York State Racing and Wagering Board rule, nor even a Belmont Park house rule. It is a decision made by the stewards.
Dr. Ted Hill, the Jockey Club steward at Belmont Park, said the nasal strip issue has been reviewed a number of times and said the problem is how to regulate its use.
[I’LL HAVE ANOTHER: Derby, Preakness winner runs for Triple Crown]
Changes for blinkers, bar shoes, and Lasix, for instance, are announced in New York. Changes regarding other equipment, such as shadow rolls, tongue ties, and bits, are not denoted. But all of those items are allowed.
Curiously, nasal strips are permitted in New York for harness racing. But the line has been drawn in Thoroughbred racing at NYRA tracks.
“If it’s really going to help the horse that much, to be fair and consistent, we have to regulate it,” Hill said. “That’s always been the issue.”
Part of the issue, Hill said, is what to do with a horse who was scheduled to wear a nasal strip if the strip comes off in the paddock or at the gate, perhaps because of wet weather. Further, Hill said there has not been a clamor among New York horsemen to use it.
“We’ve never had someone say, ‘What can we do here because we’d like to use this product?’ ” Hill said. “There’s really been no push for it.”
Doug O’Neill, the trainer of I’ll Have Another, on Friday said that although he believes the nasal strip is “a safe, natural piece of equipment for the horse, I completely respect the New York rules and will not use one.”
Flair, the company that makes the equine nasal strip, argues that its product is humane in that it promotes better lung function and helps alleviate the need for anti-bleeding medication, such as Lasix. The company says the strips “provide drug-free support and protection of the respiratory system of the hard-working equine athlete,” and said eight clinical studies show that the strips “reduce airway resistance, reduce lung stress and bleeding, reduce fatigue, and shorten post-exercise recovery time.”
Dr. James R. Chiapetta, a veterinarian who is the president of Flair LLC, contacted the Belmont Park stewards earlier this week in an attempt to change their position, but was unsuccessful.
“The strips make no more difference in the outcome of a race than do horseshoes, tongue ties, figure eight bridles, or other equipment horsemen are permitted to use,” Chiapetta said in a statement released by Flair on Friday. “The strips, however, are designed to protect horses’ lungs so they can stay healthier.”
According to Chiapetta, the strips “are scientifically proven to reduce lung bleeding and can reduce bleeding as much as the drug Lasix/Salix when horses are running to fatigue.”
This decision goes to a larger aspect of racing, the varying rules that are in each state regarding equipment and medication. For instance, the states that play host to the Triple Crown races have different rules on adjunct bleeder medication. It is legal to use such products in Kentucky and Maryland, but not in New York, where only Lasix, now known as Salix, is allowed.
The ruling has nothing to do with enhancing performance. It is simply due to the fact that the dam thing could fall off during the race and thus negatively affect the horse's performance after the true owners of the sport, the bettor, has made his/her wager.
WHAT IF THE HORSE NEEDS THIS TO BREATHE PROPERLY? WOULD YOU RATHER SEE HIM BREAK DOWN/? STUPID, STUPID PEOPLE!!!
Sure, the dumbassess will allow man made medications but not allow an all natural remedy. SOUNDS LIKE HANKY PANKY AND/OR DRUG COMPANY PAYOFFS TO MEl
Bill Goodwin The horse is not in violation of any equipment or medication rule regardless of which part of the USA or Canada that he races in. A convenient stewards rule introduced that should be challenged in the courts. Some stewards just can't get their heads out of the sand.
Sounds to me like the stewerds are trying their hardest to prevent a triple crown success. This is a really good horse, what the hell is a nasal strip going to hurt, if it was another horse there would be no question. Cheryll Terrance, Norfolk, NY, a disgusted fan of horse racing, not necessarily in NY state.l
Go Go Go Go I'll Have Another LIVE UP TO YOUR NAME and have another win for all us beginners.
I see nothing wrong with the Flare. But it won't matter he's in shape he'll win hopefully his lungs won't bleed. I do love animals.Racing is just a chance for people to prove what they can do and who has the best. Horsetrades
WTF? Those stewards are @ssholes!!! Scared the west coast horse will win ?
and one more point my friends and i below just brainstormed... nyra has an policy against using their forum for advertising..by jockeys in a race or horses..so when a figure eight does the same thing as a flair why allow a cheating trainer to possibly use his only star (IHA) as a chance to further his greed by gaining money fron the makers of the FLAIR?
FOR EVERYONE OUT THERE... from research.. not finger pointing or jealousy or bitterness.. GO LOOK UP SOME OF THIS.. I DARE YOU.. its too much to type.. the term is "alar fold stenosis". then if you can find any horse owners veterinary handbook look up the respiratory system of a horse from start to finish.. then look up how breathing directly influences lactic acid build-up. THEN GO LOOK AT FACIAL PICTURES OF IHA. then look at why california is banning doug for 45 days. then look up sentencing for first time violations of the high levels of CO2 in horses... THEN COME TELL ME HOW GREAT DOUG O'NEIL IS..... sorry folks.... after all this go see what the flairs actually do... just type EQUINE FLAIR... then come back and tell me IHA WILL STILL WIN.
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