NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As the surge in ticket sales shows, it is in everyone’s best interests for California Chrome to be at Belmont Park on June 7.
Winner of the first two jewels of the Triple Crown, Chrome has been cleared to use equine nasal strips at the Belmont Stakes, thus putting to bed a potentially embarrassing scenario for New York racing officials.
A three-person panel unanimously agreed Monday to allow the use of equine nasal strips at all of the New York Racing Association’s tracks, effective immediately, Bloomberg News reported.
Rules previously stated any equipment worn by a horse or jockey must be approved by the panel of stewards, and that was the bone of contention from the California Chrome camp, which is apparently very superstitious. The horse has won six straight races wearing the strips, including the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, thus setting the stage for the 12th attempt at the Triple Crown since Affirmed won all three races back in 1978.
“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,” Scott Palmer, New York Gambling Commission equine medical director, told the stewards.
Upon hearing the news that NYRA sided with California Chrome, horse racing fans hit the Internet hoping for a chance to witness history firsthand.
Tickets for this year’s Belmont Stakes are listed on the resale market for an average of $407.94, a 48 percent jump from the morning before the Preakness, according to online aggregator TiqIQ. The cheapest ticket is listed at $25, more than eight times higher than the $3 get-in price at last year’s race, when no Triple Crown was possible.
On StubHub, several thousand tickets were listed between $1,000 and more than $5,500, and tickets were being offered for several hundred dollars on craigslist.
California Chrome is favored 5-7 to win the Triple Crown, according to Bovada.
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