California Chrome Will Run For Racing History–With Or Without Nasal Strips?

The paint on the weathervane at Pimlico, which carries the colors of the Preakness winner, had barely dried before California Chrome’s Triple Crown bid erupted in controversy.

The chestnut colt’s length and a half victory on Saturday afternoon put to rest any lingering doubts that his performance in the Kentucky Derby was the result only of good racing luck or slow competition; winner now of six in a row, California Chrome will carry with him to Belmont Park the hopes of several generations, who hope each year to see the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.

As he did in the Kentucky Derby, California Chrome wore nasal strips when he ran in the Preakness.  Similar to those worn by human athletes, they keep his airways open and are said by their creator to reduce bleeding in horses’ lung, as does the controversial medication furosemide, which is permitted in all U.S. racing jurisdictions and on which California Chrome runs.  Nasal strips are permitted in Kentucky and Maryland, where the first two legs of the Triple Crown were run; they have not been permitted in New York, but that may be about to change.

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Featured image of California Chrome & Victor Espinoza winning the Preakness: Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club

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