Jun 5, 2014; Elmont, NY, USA; California Chrome works out on the track in preparation for running in the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

2014 Belmont Stakes: Nasal strip mascot wanders around Belmont (Photo)

Ah yes, the great nasal strip controversy of 2014. The owners of California Chrome threatened not to race at the third leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, unless the New York State Gaming Commission lifted its ban on nasal strips. Why? Because the horse was basically garbage until it started running using nasal strips. Now it has a legitimate shot to win the first Triple Crown in 36 years.

It was ultimately determined that the horse could use the nasal strips which have been deemed not to be peformance-enhancing in any way. Despite its easy solution, the controversy has proven a great marketing tool for Breathe Right, America’s most popular makers of nasal strips. There is even a nasal strip mascot walking around Belmont Park ahead of Saturday afternoon’s big race.

I don’t know if that’s an official Breathe Right mascot or not, though it does have the hashtag #BreatherightBelmont printed across its own over-sized nasal strip. Breathe Right should move quickly to disavow that thing if it is in fact not an official mascot. Because frankly that is a terrifying mascot. That makes the new Happy Meal mascot look cuddly and cute by comparison.

Look, the mascot thing isn’t that hard. Animal mascots, great. Loveable weirdo mascots like the Phillie Phanatic, great. And…that’s about it. Over-sized body part mascots? Horrifying. Always horrifying. Just don’t even do it.

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Tags: California Chrome

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