The latest accessory in horse racing may give new meaning to the phrase winning by a nose. Flair Equine Nasal Strips—six-by-four-inch black strips, placed an inch above a horse's nostrils—supposedly make breathing easier. At last year's Breeders' Cup the strips were worn by three of the eight winners, including the Classic champion, Cat Thief, and five horses in last Saturday's Kentucky Derby sported them. Many veterinarians say it's not clear if nasal strips work, but the Daily Racing Form now includes their use on its past-performance charts for horses.
The Flair is made by CNS, Inc., of Minneapolis, which also makes Breathe Right Nasal Strips, popular among NFL players and jockeys. Each Flair contains three plastic springs that according to CNS prevent the narrowing of tissue over the nasal passages and ease breathing.