Updated on 05/18/2014 6:53PM

Will New York allow California Chrome to wear nasal strips?

Tom Keyser
The nasal strips California Chrome has been wearing may not be permitted when he runs in the June 7 Belmont Stakes.

A decision on whether dual classic winner California Chrome will be permitted to use nasal strips when he bids for the Triple Crown in the June 7 Belmont Stakes should be made by Tuesday, according to a New York Racing Association official.

Martin Panza, NYRA’s senior vice president of racing operations, said he put Art Sherman, trainer of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome, in touch with the stewards at 3:45 p.m. Eastern,  at which time Sherman formally requested permission to use nasal strips on California Chrome in the Belmont, Panza said. A decision was expected within 24 to 48 hours, Panza added.

California Chrome has worn nasal strips in each of his last six starts - including victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

On Sunday morning, Art Sherman, the trainer of California Chrome, was surprised to hear that he may not be permitted to use nasal strips on his horse in the Belmont. He even went so far to suggest that Perry Martin, co-owner of California Chrome, may not want to run in the Belmont if the use of nasal strips is denied.

“Perry Martin might say if I can’t put them on that horse I’m not sending him,” Sherman said at Pimlico. “I think it helps. It’s not going to move him up five or six lengths but you hate to change things.”

Nasal strips, legal for use in many jurisdictions, are not used in New York, though there is not a rule specifically banning them. In fact, in 1999, the then-New York State Racing and Wagering Board approved their use but New York Racing Association officials - specifically then-president Terry Meyocks - said they would not be permitted for use in New York.

Lee Park, spokesman for the commission, said the stewards have the right to approve or disallow the use of nasal strips based on Rule 4033.8 that states "Only equipment specifically approved by the stewards shall be worn or carried by a jockey or a horse in a race."​

In the past, New York stewards did not permit the use of nasal strips, in part, because they were not sure how to regulate it should the strips fall off in the paddock or during a race.

In 2012, I’ll Have Another wore nasal strips winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness but his trainer, Doug O’Neill, was told that he could not use them in the Belmont. It became a moot point when I’ll Have Another was scratched the day before the Belmont with a tendon injury.

“You pick your spots when you argue with the refs,” O’Neill said. “I didn’t want there to be an asterisk if we won the Triple Crown. We did not put up a fight. I was not told to put in a request to the stewards or else I would have.”

O’Neill said he uses nasal strips on all his horses in California because he believes it’s a good way “to help a horse’s air passage and to lessen their chance of getting a bloody nose,” he said.

“How is it not a smart thing?” O’Neill added.

O’Neill said he is interested to see how the stewards handle the request by the connections of California Chrome to use nasal strips in the Belmont. He plans on bringing three horses to run at Belmont that weekend, including Goldencents in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap on the undercard.

“If there is a way to request to use them, I will,” he said.



TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
no doubt cc will give his all in the Belmont but I think if Medal Count runs and gets a clear trip down the stretch, unlike the derby, he may do a lot better.
David Merz More than 1 year ago
Anyone have the Breeders Cup presale promo code? I was supposed to have received mine in an email this morning but haven't received it yet.
Diane Hain More than 1 year ago
I'll date myself here. Alysheba ran on Lasix in the Derby and Preakness, but at that time NY still did not allow any race day medications. There are many people who argue that Alysheba would have won the Triple Crown had he been able to run on Lasix. Who knows. I'm just glad we will not be spending eternity hearing people say 'California Chrome would have won the Triple Crown had he been able to run with a nasal strip' and we can let him run on his own merit with the exact same equipment he is used to running with.
jim lefferts More than 1 year ago
The NYRA sells out. Pathetic.
David Merz More than 1 year ago
Alternate theory: Dumb rule eliminated by smart people before it kills their sport.
Scott K More than 1 year ago
The NYRA sold you out a long time ago, Jimbo. But you must be of the camp that would only like to see a TC winner if Pletcher trains it. Good luck waiting for that to happen...
Scott K More than 1 year ago
Now that NYRA allows nasal strips - it appears they learned from the IHA fiasco... and further evidences that they had it in for Doug O'Neill. So, from a karma perspective, not only will NYRA have a TC winner from California, he TC winner also has "California" in his name. What comes around, goes around...
Jason More than 1 year ago
Congratulations to Chrome and hi connections and all the crying babies on these posts NYRA seemingly will allow the nasal crap to be allowed. Shame on all of you andt the connections of Chrome for holding the triple crown hostage for their own interests. No other horses connections had a problem with the ban. Instead of having great press over the possibility of a triple crown winner our great sport has been dragged through the mud again because the connections had to get their way. They have disrespected the process the entire way. Sherman actually wants the races spread out farther apart because breeders cant deliver the same kind of horses they did yeats ago. Now Belmon seemingly has to wait on them hand and foot and cater to all of their petty needs or they will get raked over the coals by Sherman in post race interviews. Maybe everyone from California should be let in free. Also I really dont understand why they are even running the race. Accordind to many of the posts I've read Chrome is a lock to win the race and horse of the yeat already. We shouldn't risk injury to the horses or jocks by running a race where the outcome has already been determined. Also we might as well cancel the breeders cup classic as no horse can run with chrome. Oh sorry maybe Game on Dude coul do it. Hes ok with all of you right. The horse that lost at Charles Town. What a joke. Good job everybody for selling out just for this nag who is going to lose no matter what. You are the same people who are probably in favor of participatory trophies for you children when they finish last. If chrome wins there should be an asterisk next to his name!!!
Scott K More than 1 year ago
Sounds like the cry baby is named Jason...
Diane Hain More than 1 year ago
You are dead wrong. Lots of people had a problem with this ban. It just didn't get media attention because they were normal everyday people.
Gerald More than 1 year ago
save your money quit playing against CC
Patricia McKee More than 1 year ago
Nasal strips or anything else won't win the Belmont for a horse, it will be conditioning, stamina, and the greatest thing of all that last quarter mile and that is heart!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's been announced the NY will allow the nasal strip.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Uniformity across the nation is calling. We need uniform rules and regulations across the country and that is that. So simple.
Trent More than 1 year ago
DRF gets scooped by ESPN on a horse racing story, and they want us to pay for their "premium" content. What a joke.
David Merz More than 1 year ago
To their credit, however, they were last in reporting this story yesterday when the national media was all over it because they knew it was a non story. There was never a chance that CC wasn't going to be allowed to wear that thing, nor was there a chance that CC's connections would skip the race.