Breeders' Cup Formulating Security Plan

Breeders' Cup Ltd. is in the process of formulating a security plan for its 2000 championship series, scheduled for Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs. Details weren't available, but security is expected to be heightened in comparison to last year.

"We are planning to elevate security levels on the backstretch during the event," Breeders' Cup president D.G. Van Clief Jr. said. "We work in conjunction with the host track, but Breeders' Cup is the rights holder to the event, so we can apply quite a bit of leverage as to the standards we apply."

The Kentucky Racing Commission beefed up its security force earlier this year in time for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) at Churchill.

The Breeders' Cup board of directors in March approved a requirement that all horses be on the racetrack grounds 24 hours before first post on championship day. It stemmed from an incident last year, when investigators carrying credentials issued on behalf of trainer Michael Dickinson stalked a van carrying the James Bond-trained Behrens the afternoon of the race at Gulfstream Park.

The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association in August released a position paper that in part calls for 24-hour security, veterinarian inspection, post-race "super testing," and surveillance cameras for the Breeders' Cup, Triple Crown races, and other graded stakes. TOBA is in the process of garnering support for its recommendations.

The Standardbred industry has used detention barns for major races for years, and Meadowlands in New Jersey has installed security cameras. For the Sept. 21 Little Brown Jug for 3-year-old pacers at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio, the agricultural society has won regulatory approval to have all horses for the Jug and the Jugette, its companion event for fillies, on the grounds two days before the races. In addition, veterinarians won't be permitted to treat horses out of view.

When asked if Breeders' Cup plans security measures for veterinarians, Van Clief said: "We're currently working up (a plan) that includes a variety of elements. If something has been done in other jurisdictions, we could look at it."