Sunday, May 25, 2014

Racehorse dies at Belmont while wearing nasal strip: Report

The first day after nasal strips were allowed to be worn by racehorses at Belmont Park, See the Music, a 3-year-old filly, collapsed and died of an apparent heart attack on the track.

The over-sized breathing aid has gotten a lot of attention in the past couple of weeks because of California Chrome’s run for the Triple Crown.

The nasal strips were approved jointly Monday by the New York Racing Association, the New York State Gaming Commission and the Jockey Club, allowing California Chrome to try for his sweep of the Triple Crown on June 7 in the Belmont Stakes.

On Wednesday, See the Music died.

California Chrome wore the nasal strips to victory in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, but his connections were thinking of possibly skipping the Belmont if the colt wasn’t allowed to wear one in New York.

Prior to Monday’s approval, New York was the only racing jurisdiction that didn’t allow the strip to be worn through rule 4033.8 in the Gaming Commission: Only equipment specifically approved by the stewards shall be worn or carried by a jockey or a horse in a race.

See the Music’s body was sent to Cornell University, where a necropsy was performed.

“We are awaiting necropsy results,” said Lee Park, a spokesman for the gaming commission. 
“There is no reason to believe that wearing a nasal strip would contribute to a sudden death of a horse.”

The Gaming Commission’s medical director, Scott E. Palmer, cleared the way for the strips to be used in New York in a statement that read, “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.”

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