Since it won’t be allowed to wear nasal strips, California Chrome may skip the horse race altogether. This will nullify its chances of winning the series. It had already won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.
But now when it came to winning the big one, the issue over horse nasal strips has cropped up. The chestnut-colored colt with a winning streak in its bones and sinews is going to have to conserve its energy for elsewhere.
Sherman said that he would leave the decision to the owners, although it wouldn’t sit too well with them. "I would have to leave it up to the owners but I know they will be upset," said Sherman.
California Chrome is a powerhouse that has won six consecutive races. One of the owners made a suggestion that the horse be allowed to run with nasal strips which would expand the nostrils thereby allowing greater oxygen intake. This would help the horse gallop at an even greater speed than before.
The result of all this speculation over the wearing of nasal strips is that a commission has argued that it will decide whether the article of horse dressing is allowed or not.
"Neither NYSGC nor New York Racing Association Stewards have received request to use nasal strips in 6/7 Belmont Stakes," the New York State Gaming Commission said.
"If request to use nasal strips is made, decision on whether to permit or not will be evaluated & determined by the Stewards. Only equipment specifically approved by stewards shall be worn or carried by jockey or horse in a race."
Only the Stewards will deliver the final verdict on the matter. Judging from previous attempts by others to have their horses wear nasal strips, the very act was deemed unworthy of the races.
The problem is that this sort of advantage-seeking has no end in sight once it gets started. Later on riders may request the use of performance-enhancing drugs for their horses and that will open up a whole new Pandora’s Box full of troubles.
Of course, the owners of California Chrome have expressed surprise over the intolerance over nasal strips. This issue has become a hot potato of sorts thanks to the different points of view of the people involved.
The question is that everywhere else nasal strips are allowed. But when the officials in charge of this particular race don’t allow them, it seems odd and unfair.