Tighter security measures set up for Travers contenders
The New York State Racing and Wagering Board today announced a series of enhanced security protocols for horses participating in the August 25 Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.
“The Travers Stakes is the highest profile race of the world-class Saratoga meet and will be conducted with integrity and high standards for equine safety,” Racing and Wagering Board Chairman John D. Sabini said. “These protocols, which will help ensure that horses are kept safe and secure prior to the race, were put in place in consultation with equine safety experts, prominent trainers and track management.”
The following protocols will be in place for the August 25, 2012 Travers Stakes, which features a $1 million purse:
· Horses participating in the Travers Stakes must be on the grounds August 22.
· Horses will be have out-of-competition blood testing taken August 22.
· Horses will stay in their trainers’ current barns/stalls, which will be monitored at all times by additional security personnel.
· A full daily veterinarian’s record of all medications and treatments given to horses from noon August 22 until the race is run will be provided to the Racing and Wagering Board. The Racing and Wagering Board will post these records on its Web site each day.
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will cover costs associated with these protocols, with the exception of out-of-competition testing.
John F. Wayne, Executive Director of the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission, who has more than 40 years experience in horse racing, including as a Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau (TRPB) Agent and Director of Security for both Churchill Downs and Santa Anita, said, “The measures put forth by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board are common-sense protocols that will ensure that the Travers Stakes is run in a fair and safe manner. I applaud the Racing and Wagering Board for employing these steps, which are in line with the best practices of protecting race horses and the betting public.”
In May, the Board issued similar measures prior to the June 9 Belmont Stakes, which also featured a $1 million purse. Given the initial possibility of a Triple Crown winner, the race was subject to international scrutiny.
Unlike the Belmont Stakes, there will not be a specific Stakes Barn for the Travers Stakes and all efforts will be made to keep horses in barns they’re accustomed to.