Strict horse security in place for big US race

Secretariat's statue greets racing fans and jockeys in the paddock of Belmont Park.
Secretariat's statue greets racing fans and jockeys in the paddock of Belmont Park. The Long Island racetrack was the site of Secretariat's greatest performance - a 31-length romp in the 1973 Belmont Stakes to win the Triple Crown.

Racing authorities in New York have imposed unprecedented security in the leadup to the June 9 Belmont Stakes, when I’ll Have Another tries to win the Triple Crown.

The horse has already bagged the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. A win in the Belmont Stakes will notch up the first Triple Crown triumph in 34 years.

The New York State Racing and Wagering Board yesterday announced a raft of measures around the race.

Horses must be stalled in a Belmont stakes barn beginning on June 6. They will be subjected to out-of-competition blood testing and be closely monitored to ensure safety and integrity.

“Millions of race fans from around the world will be witnessing a historic spectacle … and the Racing and Wagering Board will ensure that the race is run in a safe and fair manner,” chairman John Sabini said.

The New York Racing Association will designate the specific location of the stakes barn and ensure that all entered horses are stalled at the location until the conclusion of the race.

Racing and Wagering Board personnel and the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau will assist in security of the stakes barn.

All horses running in the Belmont Stakes, upon arrival at the stakes barn on June 6, will be required to have an out-of-competition blood test.

Limited numbers of personnel will be permitted to enter, including the licensed trainer, licensed assistant trainer, licensed veterinarian, licensed groom, licensed hot walker and licensed owners.

All persons entering the stall, engaged in contact with the horse or performing any service for the horse must be licensed and must also be logged in, including the reason for the specific visit or function to be performed.

There will be “administrative searches” and checks of all equipment, feed, hay, and other items entering the stalls.

All veterinarians will be logged in and escorted.

Guards will be placed at each open doorway or doors will be kept closed with one entry point only.

No food or beverage for human consumption will be allowed in or around the stall space.


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