They are the equine equivalent of those flexible strips that people wear on their noses to prevent snoring.
With racehorses, the goal is to prevent bleeding in the lungs, ultimately allowing the animals to run faster. But do nasal strips work?
Racing officials agreed Monday to allow the strips on horses competing in the Belmont Stakes on June 7 - including California Chrome, who wore the strips while winning the first two legs of the Triple Crown.
Yet the announcement was accompanied by a statement from a state veterinarian that the strips "do not enhance equine performance."
Others say they should help - indirectly. There is little hard data on the speed of horses using the strips, but for those that suffer from the bleeding condition, the strips should allow them to run at their full potential, much like an asthmatic human runner who uses an inhaler, said Rose Nolen-Walston, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.