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MailTribune.com
  • California Chrome cleared to wear nasal strip

  • NEW YORK — California Chrome beat out an idiosyncratic racing rule — by a nose.
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  • NEW YORK — California Chrome beat out an idiosyncratic racing rule — by a nose.
    The colt is back on track for his Triple Crown try after an only-in-New York equipment ban appeared ready to put a kink in his Triple Crown try at the Belmont Stakes.
    The Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner was cleared to wear the nasal strip he has worn all through a six-race winning streak that has set him up for a chance at horse racing's 12th Triple Crown.
    New York racetracks have a rule prohibiting any equipment not specifically approved by stewards, and nasal strips were not on their list. A statement from the New York Racing Association and the state's Gaming Commission on Monday said the track's three stewards unanimously agreed to lift the ban.
    The strip worn by California Chrome during his six-race winning streak is thought to assist airflow through the nostrils — something that should come in handy June 7 for Belmont's grueling run.
    "I think it opens up his air passage and gives him that little extra oomph that he needs, especially going a mile and a half," trainer Art Sherman said. "Any time you can have a good air passage that means a lot for these thoroughbreds."
    Other states allow equine nasal strips while racing, and even some jockeys wear them, as do humans in other sports. American marathon star Meb Keflezighi can be seen sporting one during his winning run in Boston last month.
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