03/25/2015 1:01PM

Blue Grass entrants to be monitored around the clock


For the second year in a row, Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington, Ky., will subject horses entered in the April 4 Blue Grass Stakes to additional security protocols, including 24-hour monitoring in the 48 hours leading up to the race.

The security measures, which were put in place for the Blue Grass for the first time last year, will require all horses running in the $1 million stakes race to be on the grounds of Keeneland 54 hours prior to post. Security guards will start around-the-clock monitoring at that time Thursday, two days prior to the Blue Grass, which will be the last prep race for a number of horses seeking to earn a start in the Kentucky Derby on May 2.

All horses entered in the Blue Grass also will have out-of-competition blood samples drawn in the week leading up to the race, Keeneland said. Once 24-hour monitoring starts, all personnel must sign log-in and log-out sheets when visiting an entrant’s stall, and the posted security official must witness all administrations to the horse, the track said, among other measures.

Additional security protocols for prominent stakes races have become more common over the past several years. On Tuesday, the New York State Gaming Commission and the New York Racing Association announced that 11 Grade 1 races at NYRA tracks would be subject to additional security measures, continuing a trend that began four years ago in the state.