Anne M. Eberhardt

Enhanced Security for Jockey Club Gold Cup

Horses in the race will be subject to early out-of-competition testing.

As has become standard for some of the biggest races in the state, the New York State Gaming Commission and New York Racing Association announced Sept. 20 enhanced security measures will be in place for horses competing in the Sept. 28 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational (gr. I) at Belmont Park.

Horses competing in the $1 million race will be subject to early out-of-competition blood testing for banned substances and will be required to be on Belmont Park's grounds by Sept. 25. In addition, horses will be subject to 24-hour monitoring at their trainers' own barns and stalls on the grounds.

The NYSGC is also requiring submission of veterinary records for participating horses for three days leading up to the race, which will be published on the NYSGC's web site starting September 25.

"The Jockey Club Gold Cup will be conducted with protocols that provide a safe environment for horses and riders." said Robert Williams, acting NYSGC executive director. "These measures, used in other high-stakes races in New York, have proved successful and demonstrate New York's continued commitment to racing integrity, safety, and transparency."

"These steps will help ensure that Belmont Park's richest and most prestigious race of the fall meet is conducted in the safest and fairest manner possible," said NYRA president Chris Kay.

The NYSGC has mandated the following protocols and steps for the horses participating in the Gold Cup:

The NYSGC will take out-of-competition blood samples of horses competing in the Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational and send them to the New York State's Equine Drug Testing Program at SUNY Morrisville for immediate testing. Preliminary results of the testing are expected to be complete prior to the Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational.

Horses participating in the Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational must be on the Belmont Park grounds by noonWednesday, Sept. 25. Any exceptions will be at the discretion of the stewards.

Horses will stay in their trainers' current barns and stalls at Belmont, which will be monitored at all times by additional security personnel.

Security personnel will monitor all treatments performed by veterinarians and examine all paraphernalia. All containers for medications administered will be retained by the NYSGC for possible testing.

A full daily veterinarian's record of all medications and treatments given to horses from noon Sept. 25 until the race is run will be provided to the commission. Any changes to treatment must be disclosed to the NYSGC. If medications and treatment records are not provided to the commission in a timely manner and prior to treatment, veterinarians will not be permitted to treat the horse until the issue is resolved. The NYSGC will post these records on its website each day leading up to the race.

Entry-exit logs will be maintained by additional security from NYRA and the NYSGC. All persons, including veterinarians, trainers, assistant trainers, farriers, owners, or other connections, on entering the stall, or engaging in contact with the horse or performing any service for the horse must have a valid commission license on their person. Such persons will be logged in by security personnel with the reason for their visit. Routine stall and horse maintenance by identified grooms and staff will be monitored but will be exempt from logging in.

All equipment, feed, hay bales, etc. are subject to administrative searches and checks.

As is current policy, Salix administration will take place in the horses' own stalls by a NYRA veterinarian. Syringes will be preserved by the NYSGC for possible testing.

On Sept. 28, no veterinarians will treat horses without first making an appointment with commission investigators.

The NYSGC, in conjunction with NYRA, will appoint a single, 24-hour point person each day for trainers and connections to contact in case of an emergency.

On Sept. 28, no treatment will be permitted unless it is for an emergency or as approved by the stewards.

On Sept. 28, horses participating in the Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational will be required to be in the assembly barn between 45 minutes to 1 hour before post time for TC02 testing. They will then be escorted with security to the paddock.

Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational participants will receive priority for paddock schooling with security present. The NYSGC and NYRA will provide educational materials on the protocols to horsepersons, connections, veterinarians, security and all appropriate parties prior to and on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at Belmont Park.