- Associated Press - Friday, June 6, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - California Chrome got permission from New York racing officials to wear nasal strips when he runs in the Belmont Stakes.

He wore them while winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness after one of the colt’s owners decided to try them.

Now others are getting into the act.

Breathe Right representatives will be at Belmont Park on Saturday passing out 50,000 of its nasal strips to adult fans attending the race. Humans use the strips to help them breathe easier while sleeping. Some horses use them to open up their nasal passages while running.

Breathe Right is encouraging Belmont fans to wear the strips during the race and pose for selfies to post on social media.

At Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif., where California Chrome has run, the track will give fans free souvenir nasal strips on Saturday. The strips are purple with word “Chrome” on the front.

___

DRUG TESTING: Drug testing on all horses running in the Belmont Stakes and four other Grade 1 races with purses of $1 million or more on Saturday at Belmont Park has been completed.

The New York State Gaming Commission said Friday that the out-of-competition blood tests all came back clean, with none testing positive for performance-enhancing substances. Special attention was given to checking for blood-doping agents.

The samples will be preserved for future reference.

___

TRUE BELIEVER: Medal Count’s trainer Dale Romans came into the Kentucky Derby thinking he had the best horse. He left with an eighth-place finish and great respect for California Chrome.

“Yeah it changed. I said it two minutes after he hit the wire at the Derby. I was dead wrong. He’s a great horse,” Romans said on Friday. “He came in perfectly prepared. Lived up to his reputation. He was getting a lot more hype than he deserved and I was wrong. Then he backed it up in the Preakness. He’s the horse to beat. But go back in history there’s been a lot of them. They just didn’t get it done. It’s tough. If he was running against the field that Secretariat ran against in the Belmont he’d be a triple crown winner. Just give it to him today.”

Romans thinks his horse has a good chance on Saturday with the longer race being an equalizer since none of the horses have run that distance.

History is also against California Chrome. All 11 of the previous Triple Crown winners ran in New York when they were 2-year-olds. California Chrome didn’t.

Story Continues →