Sports briefs 5-19-14: Nasal strip could threaten Chrome's Triple bid

BETH HARRIS AP Racing Writer Published:

BALTIMORE -- California Chrome might abandon his Triple Crown bid in the Belmont Stakes if New York officials do not allow the colt to wear a nasal strip.

Trainer Art Sherman suggested it was a possibility, although he made no threats about California Chrome passing on a chance to become horse racing's 12th Triple Crown winner.

"I'd have to leave it up to the owners," he said Sunday. "I know they'll be upset."

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner has worn a nasal strip during his current six-race winning streak after co-owner Perry Martin wanted to try it. Sherman is based in California and said he wasn't aware that using one in New York might be a problem. He said he would talk to New York racing officials and the horse's owners.

Some horses, like humans, wear nasal strips to assist breathing. The colt wears the strip only during races, not training.

At 1 1/2 miles, the Belmont on June 7 is the longest and most grueling of the three Triple Crown races.

"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."

Sherman said Martin likes to try different products and the co-owner thought a nasal strip might benefit California Chrome.

• Golf

Todd wins: Brendon Todd won the Byron Nelson Championship on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title, closing with a bogey-free 4-under 66 for a two-stroke victory over Mike Weir.

It was the 77th career PGA Tour event for Todd. He earned $1,242,000, a two-year PGA Tour exemption and a spot next year in the Masters.

Perry prevails: Kenny Perry won his third Champions Tour major in the past year with a one-stroke victory over Mark Calcavecchia in the Regions Tradition.

Perry closed with an even-par 72 at Shoal Creek to finish at 7-under 281, while other contenders had up-and-down days and John Cook lost the lead with a double hit.

Never challenged: Lizette Salas won the Kingsmill Championship for her first LPGA Tour title, finishing with even-par 71 for a four-stroke victory.

The 24-year-old former Southern California player was never really challenged in the final round on the River Course.

• Football

Lewan arraignment: Tennessee Titans' first-round draft pick Taylor Lewan faces a court hearing in a Michigan assault case.

The former Michigan offensive tackle is to be arraigned today in Ann Arbor District Court. The 6-foot7, 309-pound Lewan is charged with three assault counts stemming from a confrontation with two Ohio State fans after the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines last fall.

Suh's status: Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell says he anticipates that star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh will be at organized team activities, which start this coming week.

Suh skipped the team's voluntary minicamp last month. He has stayed away from voluntary workouts before during his career, and the two-time All-Pro has always gotten himself physically ready to play.

• Elsewhere

Carpenter on pole: Ed Carpenter won the Indianapolis 500 pole for the second straight year, posting a four-lap average of 231.067 mph.

He was the last of the nine fastest qualifiers to hit the track Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He knocked off James Hinchcliffe on the last lap to start first on the May 25 race.

Ovechkin injured: Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin was taken to a hospital with a right leg injury Sunday after colliding with an opponent during Russia's game against Germany at the ice hockey world championships.

Ovechkin took a hit to his right knee from forward Marcus Kink midway through the third period and stayed on the ice for several minutes before he needed assistance to leave the ice.

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