More Security in Place for Travers Starters

Horses must be on grounds by Aug. 21 and subject to out-of-competition testing.

The New York State Gaming Commission and New York Racing Association are implementing enhanced security measures for the Aug. 24 Travers Stakes (gr. I).

Horses competing in the $1 million race for 3-year-olds at Saratoga Race Course will be subject to early out-of-competition blood testing for banned substances and will be required to be on racetrack grounds by Aug. 21. In addition, horses will be subject to 24-hour monitoring at their trainers' own barns and stalls on the grounds.

The gaming commission is also requiring the submission of veterinary records for participating horses for three days leading up to the race. The commission said it plans to publish the records on its website beginning Aug. 21.

"These measures demonstrate New York's commitment to the health and safety of the horses and riders," Robert Williams, acting executive director of the gaming commission, said in an Aug. 19 release. "The security protocols we have implemented here are sensible steps that underscore that New York horse racing operates with the highest integrity."

"These steps will help ensure that Saratoga Race Course's most renowned race is conducted in the safest and fairest manner possible," NYRA president and chief executive officer Chris Kay said.

Officials said the out-of-competition testing samples will be taken Aug. 21, with the results expected back before the Travers.

Entry and exit logs will be maintained by additional security from NYRA and the gaming commission. All persons–veterinarians, trainers, assistant trainers, farriers, owners, or other connections–must produce a valid commission license upon entering a stall,or engaging in contact with the horse or performing any service. The commission, 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.