The strictest security protocols perhaps ever in American racing will be in place for the June 9 Belmont Stakes.
The New York State Racing and Wagering Board announced in a statement that it is requiring all horses running in the Belmont Stakes to enter a designated Belmont barn beginning Wednesday, the day that entries are taken for the Triple Crown finale, and not be housed anywhere else until after the race.
Upon entering the barn, all Belmont horses will be required to have an out-of-competition blood test, which will be sent to the board's drug lab that evening for immediate review.
A limited number of personnel will be permitted to enter the barn, including New York Racing Association and RWB staff and the licensed trainer, licensed assistant trainer, licensed veterinarian, licensed groom, licensed hot walker and licensed owners for each horse. Security will log in all persons who enter and exit a stall in the barn, with the exception of a horse's groom, who will be monitored.
There will be administrative searches and checks of all equipment, feed, hay etc. No food or beverage for human consumption will be allowed in or around stall space. Veterinarians will have to provide written notice of intended treatment prior to attending to a horse, and all treatments performed by vets will be monitored.
Starting June 8, veterinarians will have to make an appointment with racing board investigators to treat a horse. On race day, treatment will be permitted only for an emergency or by agreement with the stewards. A state veterinarian will administer the horse's bleeder medication shots.
"The protocols put forth here will protect horses, riders and the betting public and underscore the symbolism of the world-class racing held in New York State," board chairman John D. Sabini said in a release. (USA Today)