California Chrome could skip the Belmont Stakes and abandon the race to be the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years over a nasal strip ban, his trainer Art Sherman told reporters on Sunday.
The governing body the controls the Belmont, the New York Racing Association, requires horses to get special approval from the stewards to use equipment like nasal strips.
California Chrome wore a strip — a small nose patch that is said to help breathing — en route to wins at both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.
The NYRA will announce a ruling on whether nasal strips will be permitted on Tuesday, the New York Daily News reports.
“That’s not fair to me,” Sherman told the Daily News about the rule. “That’s really bogus. I don’t understand.”
He told the New York Times that the owners could pull him out of the race:
“He might not run if they say you can’t run with a nasal strip. [Co-owner Perry Martin] is very funny about things like that. The horse has been on a six-race winning streak with nasal strips. I don’t know why they would ban you from wearing one, but we’ll have to cross that bridge when we get there, I guess.”
The strip goes over the nose. It is allowed in most stakes, including California where the horse trains.
According to TheHorse.com, studies on the efficacy of the nasal strips have been mixed. Some contend that the strips reduce work and help the animals breath more efficiently, while others say they don’t really do anything.
California Chrome would become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978 with a win at the Belmont.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.