California Chrome is back on track for his Triple Crown try after an only-in-New York equipment ban appeared ready to put a kink in his Triple Crown try at the Belmont Stakes.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner was cleared to wear the nasal strip he has worn all through a six-race winning streak that has set him up for a chance at horse racing's 12th Triple Crown.

New York racetracks have a rule prohibiting any equipment not specifically approved by stewards, and nasal strips were not on their list. A statement from the New York Racing Association and the state's Gaming Commission on Monday said the track's three stewards unanimously agreed to lift the ban.

Golf

Tiger Woods said his back injury became so debilitating this year that it caused him to doubt his ability to play golf again. "Forget about playing golf at the highest level. I couldn't get out of bed," said Woods, speaking at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, in his role as host of next month's Quicken Loans National. Woods underwent microdiscectomy surgery March 31. He said there's still "no timetable" for his return to golf.

NFL

The Raiders claimed wide receiver Greg Little off waivers. Little, who turns 25 on May 30, spent his first three NFL seasons with the Cleveland Browns. He was cut last week. He caught 155 passes for 1,821 yards and eight touchdowns in his three seasons.


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  • Jerry Rice Jr. will have a tryout with the 49ers at their rookie minicamp. He is the son of legendary 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice. Rice Jr. played collegiately for UCLA and UNLV, where he caught 20 passes combined.

  • Saints general manager Mickey Loomis says the club has agreed to a four-year contract with former Cal linebacker Khairi Fortt, New Orleans' fourth-round draft pick.

  • Former Cal linebacker Chris McCain signed an undrafted free-agent contract with the Miami Dolphins.

    College

    Wayne Tinkle, who coached the past eight seasons at Montana, was hired as Oregon State's basketball coach. He replaces Craig Robinson, who was fired after six seasons.

    Motor sports

    Robert Hight raced to his third Funny Car win in a row and fourth overall this season at the rain-delayed NHRA Southern Nationals in Commerce, Georgia.

    Hockey

    France clinched a spot in the quarterfinals of the ice hockey world championship for the first time since 1995 with a 6-2 victory over Denmark in Minsk, Belarus. Alex Ovechkin will miss at least one game after sustaining a right leg injury in a collision during Russia's game against Germany on Sunday.

    Staff writer Steve Corkran contributed to this report.