Keeneland to Heighten Backstretch Security

Backstretch security will be heightened at the upcoming fall meeting at Keeneland, a track unique to American racing in that the stable area is open to the public and not restricted to licensed personnel and approved visitors. Association president Nick Nicholson said Keeneland is following the lead of the New York Racing Association, which stepped up security efforts in its stable area beginning with the summer's Saratoga meeting. Del Mar in California also increased backstretch security this summer.

The move is part of Keeneland's commitment to uphold the integrity of racing, Nicholson said. Earlier this year, Keeneland became a participant in a "super test" drug program in conjunction with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Task Force on Racing Integrity and Drug Testing Standards. Keeneland also supports a position paper written by a committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association calling for enhanced security, enforcement, and testing in regard to medication.

Nicholson said heightened stable area security was tested first on Kentucky Cup day at Turfway Park, the Northern Kentucky track co-owned by Keeneland. Security officials representing the track, Kentucky Racing Commission, and Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau monitored a number of stakes horses throughout the day at Turfway. Among other things, security personnel were instructed to keep a detailed log of anyone entering a horse's stall.