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Santa Anita to honor Chrome by giving out nasal strips during Belmont Stakes Day

 California Chrome  wearing  his now famous nasal strip.
Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Santa Anita will “honor” California Chrome next Saturday by giving away free purple nasal strips with the word “Chrome” across the front to fans the same day the Golden State’s ‘golden horse” will attempt to win the Triple Crown over 3,000 miles at Belmont. In addition, the first 10,000 fans (with paid admission) will be given a Belmont button that says ''Bring It Home California Chrome.''

Chrome has worn the nasal strips in his last 6 (straight) victories, including the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Before using them he was 2 for 6. However, it was questionable as to whether he would be allowed to wear them for the Belmont, until track stewards voted to legalize them in New York after finding that they did not cause a horse to “run faster,” and no more controversial than tongue ties commonly used to prevent horses’ tongues from interfering coming out of a horse’s mouth and possibly interfering with their breathing during races. According to Flair which manufacturers the nasal strips, the “patches” are simply used to help keep nasal passages open during strenuous activity, allowing more air into the lungs and reducing the risk of bleeding, “which is common in hard-working horses.” New York State Gaming Commission Equine Medical Director Scott E. Palmer told the racetrack stewards that there's no evidence they confer a competitive advantage.

"Equine nasal strips do not enhance equine performance nor do they pose a risk to equine health or safety and as such do not need to be regulated," attested New York State Gaming Commission Equine Medical Director Scott E. Palmer.

In fact, a Flair survey of the top 55 thoroughbred trainers found that its nasal strips were “worn in nearly 10,000 races last year. They are also commonly used in quarter horse races, as well as barrel racing, and eventing throughout the country.

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