There have been 11 Triple Crown winners in the history of horse racing. California Chrome is bidding to become the 12th, but there's a real possibility the California thoroughbred will be held out of the Belmont Stakes if he's not allowed the use of nasal strips.
Speaking to the media Sunday, trainer Art Sherman indicated the ultimate decision will lay with his owners if the New York State Gaming Commission doesn't allow the strips. There is precedent here, as I'll Have Another was disallowed the use of the strips in his bid for a Triple Crown in 2012.
I'll Have Another scratched before the race with a leg injury that year.
"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 [which is the length of the Belmont Stakes, the longest of the three races]," Sherman said, according to the Associated Press. "Anytime you can have a good air passage, that means a lot for these thoroughbreds."
The final decision will be made by the New York Racing Association, which has had several different stewards since the I'll Have Another ruling.
The Belmont Stakes will be run June 7.