Tighter security measures set up for Travers contenders

by | 08.08.2012 | 12:55pm

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.

  • Thelibrarian

    OK….GOOD! Now all we gotta do is pay off the $9 an hour security guard! 

  • Oscetra

    they don’t get it….whatever, go through the motions –

  • Rachel

    This is what most of the trainers wanted.

  • Rachel

    They’re just people trying to make a living, like backstretch workers and a lot of other hard working people. No need to disparage anyone working for a living.

  • Thelibrarian

    NO….. the point is who’s putting the $9 an hr. security guard there? It’s a million dollar race! Window dressing is BS! They should hire off duty real cops ’cause they are highly unlikely to take any “S” from ANYBODY! Racetrack security is a JOKE! A horse might come up positive just from close contact with THEM! Is that disparaging? Sad but true!

  • wallyhorse

    This was pretty much expected, and I suspect may become the norm for big races that have major media attention at NYRA tracks.  

    As much as Doug O’Neill may have been cited for the barn for the Belmont Stakes, even without O’Neill even being a part of the Belmont, once the 1,719 violations against Harness trainer Lou Pena became known to the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, it put the board in my view where they had no choice but to implement it regardless of whether O’Neill had I’ll Have Another alive for the Triple Crown or another horse trained by a trainer never even accused of anything was going for the Triple Crown.  In my opinion, O’Neill having I’ll Have Another allowed the board to more easily go ahead with it, but it would have been there regardless due to the Pena violations and not wanting to risk being scrutinized by people who don’t follow the sport as closely as we do for not having such even if it was a Harness trainer who had so many violations.

  • samm

    the question is… would they know what they (guards) were looking at?  and would the average person know what the medications were even for??

  • Ida Lee

    I get your drift…

  • Kim Howell(Anita Xanax)

    At least they are using enough common sense to leave the horses in their barns and provide some attempt at transparency for the public.

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