Published: May 21, 2014

By Jim Lichtman
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Where is Rachel Maddow?

Where is Fox and Friends!?

Where is House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa? Subpoenas should be flying!

What’s outrageous?

California Chrome!

No, not the car show on sunny California beaches. I’m talking about that upstart thoroughbred that creamed the competition in the Kentucky Derby and decimated the field in last week’s Preakness. That not-so-little horse that could, California Chrome, might abandon, that’s right folks, I said dump his Triple Crown hopes if Belmont officials do not allow the colt to run the race wearing… a nasal strip.

The Associated Press writes (May 18),”Trainer Art Sherman made no threats about the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner passing on a chance to become horse racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner, but he suggested it was a possibility.”

“I’d have to leave it up to the owners,” Sherman said. “I know they’ll be upset.”

“Among the Gaming Commission’s rules,” the AP says, “governing Belmont Park is one that states: Only equipment specifically approved by the stewards shall be worn or carried by a jockey or a horse in a race.”

In an official Twitter feed, the New York Racing Association said: “We operate under the rules set forth by @NYSGamingCommission.”

Wait a second, hold your horses. There must be something more to this, cocaine, steroids … something else must be involved.

“Some horses, like humans, wear nasal strips to assist breathing. The colt wears the strip only during races, not training. At 1 ½ miles, the Belmont is the longest and most grueling of the three Triple Crown races.”

Let’s take a closer look, here.

” ‘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,’ Sherman said. ‘Anytime you can have a good air passage, that means a lot for these thoroughbreds.’

” ‘It’s something nonmedical that can be beneficial to a workout or a race,’ California-based trainer Doug O’Neill said by phone. ‘If you think your horse could use some help with their nostrils, you do it.’ ”

Ah HAH! 

If the horse could “use some help… you do it”!

If that’s not a smoking gun, I’ll sell my AR-15 on e-Bay.

California Chrome has worn a nasal strip during his current six-race winning streak after co-owner Perry Martin wanted to try it.”

Yes, but we’re talking about New York… that bastion of legal and ethical propriety.

“New York has gotten a lot better with common sense,” O’Neill said. “It seems like a more rational place now.”

New York… common sense… rational?

Something doesn’t smell right to me. WAIT, let me put myBreathe Right strip on to see which way the wind is blowing.

“If a request to use nasal strips is made,” Gaming Commission spokesman Lee Park announced, “the decision on whether to permit them or not will be fully…”

Wait. Stop the presses; stop the presses!

NEW YORK — “California Chrome can breathe easy — he’s allowed to wear a nasal strip when he goes for the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes (May 19).

“New York tracks have a rule prohibiting any equipment not specifically approved by stewards, and nasal strips were not on the list. A statement from the New York Racing Association and the state’s Gaming Commission said the track’s three stewards unanimously agreed to lift the ban.”

Oh… never mind.


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