Sports

Trainer: California Chrome Might Sit Out Belmont Stakes Over Nasal Strip Rule

California Chrome could become the first horse since 1978 to win the Triple Crown. (credit: Getty Images)

California Chrome could become the first horse since 1978 to win the Triple Crown. (credit: Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Could a nasal strip be a roadblock in California Chrome’s quest to become the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years?

A day after his colt won the second leg of horse racing’s coveted Triple Crown, trainer Art Sherman hinted the thoroughbred might sit out the Belmont Stakes if New York doesn’t change its regulations allowing thoroughbreds to wear nasal strips.

California Chrome has been sporting the strip in his last six races — all victories — to help with his breathing. The strip was suggested by co-owner Perry Martin.

Martin “might not run if they say you can’t run with a nasal strip,” Sherman told reporters. “He’s very funny about things like that.

“I do think it opens up the air passage and gives that little extra oomph that he would need, especially going a mile-and-a-half,” Sherman explained. “Any time you can have a good air passage that means a lot with these thoroughbreds.”

Nasal strips nearly became a major issue in the 2012 Belmont Stakes. I’ll Have Another, who wore the strips, was set to run for the Triple Crown, but was scratched with a leg injury.

California Chrome won the Preakness on Saturday, beating out Ride On Curlin and Social Inclusion.

The colt also won the Kentucky Derby earlier this month.

With a victory in the Belmont on June 7, California Chrome would become the 12th Triple Crown winner in horse racing history and the first since Affirmed in 1978.

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