05/19/2014 11:20AM

California Chrome can wear nasal strip in Belmont

Barbara D. Livingston
California Chrome will be allowed to wear a nasal strip - like the one shown above during the Preakness - in the Belmont Stakes.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome will be able to wear a nasal strip for the June 7 Belmont Stakes and all horses competing at New York Racing Association tracks will be able to wear them, effectively immediately, according to a press release issued Monday by the New York State Gaming Commission.

“The three Stewards at Belmont Park today unanimously agreed to allow the use of equine nasal strips for all horses running at racetracks of The New York Racing Association, effective immediately,” read a joint press release put out by the New York State Gaming Commission, Jockey Club, and NYRA, which employ the three stewards.

According to the release, New York’s stewards - Steve Lewandowski (Gaming Commission), Dr. Ted Hill (Jockey Club), and Braulio Baeza Jr. (NYRA) - sought input from Dr. Scott Palmer, New York’s equine medical director, before issuing a ruling.

Palmer said he saw no performance-enhancing benefit to nasal strips, which are used by some horsemen to assist a horse with his breathing.

“I recommended that the stewards at state-based Thoroughbred racetracks discontinue their ban on equine nasal strips,” Palmer is quoted saying in the release. “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,” Palmer added.

While there was never a state rule strictly prohibiting the use of nasal strips in New York, NYRA had instituted a house rule 15 years ago prohibiting their use. The Gaming Commission said that had horsemen made a request to stewards to use nasal strips, the stewards would have considered it. Horsemen interviewed on the Belmont backstretch Monday were not aware of that fact.

According to trainer Art Sherman, California Chrome has won all six of his races since using nasal strips. On Sunday, at Pimlico, when first told by Daily Racing Form that they were not permitted in New York, Sherman said that one of his owners, Perry Martin, might not want to run if the horse couldn’t use nasal strips.

Jimmy Jerkens, who trains Belmont Stakes contender Wicked Strong, said he might consider using nasal strips “if there’s something about them that has a settling effect. . . . I don’t want to keep closed-mind about it.”

Todd Pletcher, who is expected to run three horses in the Belmont - Commissioner, Danza, and Intense Holiday - didn’t plan on using them. He said he’s used them on horses in the past at other tracks and “didn’t see a huge performance change” from them.

It was also announced by the Gaming Commission that stewards at Finger Lakes also voted to permit use of nasal strips at the upstate track.


Phil Johnwell More than 1 year ago
Hmmm Kareem Jabaar scored more points in the history of the NBA because he wore goggles..He wore them because he was tire of being poked in the eyes...So if a horse wears wraps in the Derby it's a fluke because another horse won without them ! I'm telling you that it's the weight that some horses weren't able to carry.
Darrell Peck More than 1 year ago
wow Phil you sure don't know anything about the N.B.A. Jabbar wore those goggles because of corneal erosion syndrome. Also his name is spelled Jabbar not Jabaar. When people write thing that are false why would the rest of your message have any merit.
Wade Teasdale More than 1 year ago
1. Per news articles on this "controversy," no study has indicated that the use of nasal strips translates into any measurable race performance enhancement. No measurable data that it helps a horse run farther or faster or some combination thereof. 2. The NYRA change applies to all horses. So if there IS some microscopic, as yet technologically immeasurable race performance benefit, every trainer at Belmont may avail the strips' use for their horses.
Walter More than 1 year ago
Maybe nasal strips became passé because some trainers were looking for more immediate and drastic results provided by illegal drugs? I would rather have have trainers put a nasal strip that we can all see instead of shooting up a horse w drugs that we don't know about.
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
The rule was lame to begin with.What's the difference between nasil strips and tongue ties?If they gave a horse an advantage,all the successful outfits would have them as standard equiptment.They were a fad 15 years ago that died out when most trainers saw them as a waste of time.
Phil Johnwell More than 1 year ago
For nittpickers.Most of those horses never carried 126 lbs before...Wieght break is what's an advantage..Jerry Rice has the NFL record for TDs..oh, he wore a nasal strip ! His 40 time was the same..How fast a horses runs carrying 115 lbs and 126 is why some of them didn't show up !
Darrell Peck More than 1 year ago
Gee Phil they carried 126 in the K.D. and the Preakness. what horses are you referring to.
Scott K More than 1 year ago
NYRA learned its lesson with I'll Have Another. Try and bully connections of a California horse going for the TC and you just might end up with... nada.
Phil Johnwell More than 1 year ago
And the horse that you bet on should be able to use a butt strip so the next time he gets it kicked you won' be hurt !
Eric Martin Mathe More than 1 year ago
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
It's so slight as to be insignificant, but it's aid in reducing the chance of nosebleed is not.
Tyler Mathis More than 1 year ago
You're right, it's a bad idea these nasal strips. Just inject them all with PE drugs. That would be better. (SHOULD I HAVE POSTED THIS ALL IN CAPS?)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
1st/ any PE drugs would show up in post race urine/blood samples and the trainers would get caught. 2nd/ any irregularities in betting on improbable horses get caught on cameras/ISP addresses etc. If you can improve the horses performance in a non-medical non-abusive way then that's great. It's just a piece of non-medical equipment. Posting in Caps is the least of your worries. If you really want to focus on whats wrong weth horse racing start with what goes into a horse instead.
Eric Martin Mathe More than 1 year ago
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
David G. More than 1 year ago
Curious, If this type of equipment piece becomes common in the industry, will DRF have it designated in the PP's next to the other equipment posted (L,B, f, etc.)?
. More than 1 year ago
dude, that was just what I was thinking last night.
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
Yeh, maybe 's' for strip.
Richard Cadena More than 1 year ago
Will you bet on a horse only because it wears nasal strips?