04/03/2013 2:14PM

Santa Anita Derby runners to undergo 72-hour surveillance


ARCADIA, Calif. – Santa Anita officials were finalizing plans on Wednesday morning to conduct surveillance on the runners for Saturday’s $750,000 Santa Anita Derby for the 72 hours in advance of the race, track president George Haines said on Wednesday.

The surveillance period was scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. on Wednesday in the respective Santa Anita or Hollywood Park stables of the nine entrants, he said. Security staff will record the activity of those horses.

“This is similar to what we do for the Breeders’ Cup races,” Haines said.

A 72-hour surveillance has not been conducted on any other race at the Santa Anita meeting, including the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 2. Raceday surveillance is usually conducted for approximately six hours in advance of major stakes on most weekends.

The surveillance is being financed “by a group of horsemen” and was done in consultation with the Thoroughbred Owners of California and California Thoroughbred Trainers, Haines said. The California Horse Racing Board was informed of the track’s plans earlier this week and gave its support, according to executive director Kirk Breed.

“It’s not something we could be against,” said CTT president Jim Cassidy. “The only thing we said is that we weren’t going to pay for it.”

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who starts leading contender Hear the Ghost, did not like the 11th hour nature of the surveillance.

“I think it’s a rather ridiculous notion that they didn’t put that in the rules for the beginning of the meet or for any of our races at Santa Anita,” he said. “Things have gone just fine having the security guards on starting the morning of the race.”

When Hear the Ghost won the San Felipe, he was vanned to Santa Anita the day before the race, which Hollendorfer will apparently be permitted to do this week, too. Santa Anita Derby entrants Tiz a Minister and Summer Exclusive are also based at Hollywood Park and will be monitored there as well until they are transferred.

– additional reporting by Jay Privman

Ann Mitchell Adam More than 1 year ago
Hollendorfer has just scratched Hear the Ghost for minor injuries.
Ann Mitchell Adam More than 1 year ago
Actually the "group of horsemen" HAS been publicly known!! It is the CHRB that has used this phrase because they originally came out AGAINST the measure. They were forced to back down when private funds were provided to accomplish this! So ~ Please be aware that it is the CHRB that is trying to clean up their image. They & the TOC are still trying to stay in the dark ages of racing and are strangling the "golden goose." The public that really cares must demand accountability and open public dealing from all.
Rey More than 1 year ago
Has anyone in California racing ever heard of public relations? The surveillance is being financed "by a group horsemen." Makes me wonder why they don't want to identify themselves or if there is a specific horse they don't want running? I guess we'll just have to wait until we see if there are any "late" scratches.
LogicRules55 More than 1 year ago
How prophetic
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
I'm a little surprised that when the NYRA does this in a much more stringent manner everyone is thrilled, but when the CHRB does it everyone wants to know why.
Nathan More than 1 year ago
how about lie detctor tests for all the owners/vets/trainers/and grooms? not just for this race or the wood, but ALL YEAR ROUND.
STEVE More than 1 year ago
Man, I don't know what Doug O' Neil did with IHA last year. First Belmont last year and now Santa Anita. What is the word around the campfire...I should would like to know.
commenting More than 1 year ago
Right, this is all because of O'Neill, couldn't be Hollendorfer now could it?
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
Oh, please! Let it go. Enuf damage was done last year.
Quite A Dude More than 1 year ago
What's with the "selective" scrutiny?? There must be a reason.
Mark D More than 1 year ago
Do they call this the "Doug Oneil Rule"??
Marcus Semona More than 1 year ago
It really seems that way =(
Nathan More than 1 year ago
it's called the tijuana rule. go to any pharmacia in mexico, no prescription required, order any painkiller or parkinson drug , etc. and bring it to your trainer. retention only works when the horses are shipped to the track that the race is taking place at. this is a joke. typical california.chrb admits that they won,t pay.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
Very similar to what the NYRA is doing for the Wood. Doubtful though it will be as stringent as the NYRA is taking blood samples for testing Wednesday afternoon and having 24 hours surveillance, but Santa Anita is allowing a few horses to ship over Friday, and not sure what monitored there means.
Nathan More than 1 year ago
s.a. has many owners who are on the board of the chrb, all rotten to the core. they favour their own.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Ala Belmont, this announcement is too close to Post Time. Is this the first notice to Trainers?
Nathan More than 1 year ago
they did the same for the travers last year. turned into a great race. look at the chart.