Backstretch Security, Drug-Testing Heightened for Cup

Oak Tree Racing Association has stepped up backstretch security for its current meet, which includes the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships on Oct. 25 at Santa Anita Park.

In addition, drug-testing procedures recommended by the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association will be in place for Breeders' Cup day as they have been for the Oak Tree meet. Breeders' Cup already has a protocol that requires more post-race urine tests.

When the Oak Tree meet began Sept. 28, there were 22 uniformed guards on hand from a private security firm. They have been monitoring horses entered in graded events for four hours prior to each race. The time period has been increased to six hours, Oak Tree executive vice president Sherwood Chillingworth said.

Dick Honaker, security chief at Santa Anita, said personnel would provide 24-hour security in the track's quarantine area and at Breeders' Cup barns as they become occupied, probably beginning Oct. 15.

A Breeders' Cup veterinary team will work with the California Horse Racing Board and Oak Tree to evaluate the health and soundness of the racehorses. A press release said if any of the veterinarians observe "anything unusual" about a horse, the entire team would review and evaluate the situation with the trainer.