May 17, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Victor Espinoza aboard California Chrome celebrates winning the 139th Preakness Stakesat Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

California Chrome may skip Belmont Stakes over nasal strip issue

After winning The Preakness in thrilling fashion on Saturday afternoon, it appears that California Chrome’s bid for the Triple Crown may come to an abrupt end thanks to an issue over nasal strips that trainer Art Sherman is raising with officials at Belmont.

According to the Associated Press, Sherman is threatening to pull California Chrome from the Belmont Stakes if the horse isn’t allowed to wear a nasal strip.

The issue seems rather tedious, but California Chrome has worn a breathing strip to assist his breathing through victories at the Kentucky Derby and The Preakness but it’s unclear if New York officials will allow the colt to wear the strip as it may violate rules set in place by the state.

Neither Kentucky not Maryland had issues with the nasal strip but horse racing rules vary from state to state and New York’s rules aren’t the same as those in Kentucky or Maryland. A similar issue was raised when I’ll Have Another attempted to wear a nasal strip for the Belmont Stakes following wins at the Derby and The Preakness but ended up getting scratched for an unrelated reason.

It would be most unfortunate if all the hype surrounding California Chrome came to an end thanks to nasal strips, but it seems we may be headed towards that anticlimactic conclusion next month.

Tags: Belmont Stakes California Chrome Triple Crown

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