08/08/2012 4:20PM

Saratoga: Travers entrants will be subject to increased security and testing


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – All horses entered for the $1 million Travers Stakes here Aug. 25 will be subject to increased security protocols, including round-the-clock monitoring, out-of-competition testing, and public disclosure of veterinarian’s records, according to the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.

Under protocols announced by the board Wednesday, Travers horses will be required to be on the grounds by Aug. 22, which is the day of entry and three days before the race. Horses will have out-of-competition blood testing taken Aug. 22.

Travers horses will stay in their current barns/stalls, which will be monitored 24 hours a day by additional security personnel. Thus, a security barn like the one that was in place for the Belmont Stakes will not be utilized.

Finally, a full daily veterinarian’s record of all medications and treatments given to horses from noon Aug. 22 until Travers Day will be provided to the Racing and Wagering Board and be posted on the board’s website.

“The Travers Stakes is the highest-profile race of the world-class Saratoga meet and will be conducted with integrity and high standards for equine safety,” Racing and Wagering Board chairman John Sabini said in a press release. “These protocols, which will help ensure that horses are kept safe and secure prior to the race, were put in place in consultation with equine safety experts, prominent trainers, and track management.”

Kiaran McLaughlin, trainer of Jim Dandy winner and possible Travers favorite Alpha, said he’s fine with the protocols. And though his horse is technically stabled off the grounds at the Godolphin training center, adjacent to Saratoga, it is not expected that Alpha will have to move to McLaughlin’s barn that is on the grounds.

“I signed a release before the meet started to allow them to come back and take out-of-competition testing,” McLaughlin said. “I don’t think he should have to move. They do everything as though we’re on the track.

“I don’t want to move, I would prefer not to move,” McLaughlin added. “He worries a little bit, but he’s as happy as he can be right now.”

As of Wednesday, other horses pointing to the Travers were Neck ’n Neck, Nonios, Street Life, Liaison, Five Sixteen, and possibly Hansen and Easter Gift.

Kendall Hansen More than 1 year ago
We are coming and are fine with the increased scrutiny. We had planned on shipping Hansen in Thursday, so now have to come a day earlier. If we all have to be on the grounds, I would think it only fair that Alpha comes over too. By the way I look forward to Hansen's run against Alpha the most. I have enjoyed watching his career. I am a fan of his and Godolphin. Many feel Alpha is better suited for this distance than Hansen so Ramon will likely ride Alpha.....of course I will be paying particular attention whether Hansen stays in front of Alpha.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Dr. Hansen. Thank you for being up front and honest about Hansen. Good Luck.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
Let's hope nyra is serious about stamping out the cheating and not just blowing smoke.as for McLaughlin why should his horse get preferential treatment just because he's a godolphin horse,they are always asking for cleaner racing now they don't want to cooperate ?.its hamazing how trainers are always against stricter drug testing and any effort at keeping the game honest,remember dale Romans outbursts at the Belmont well we've all seen dullahans results since.lets keep it horse racing and not junkie racing.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Besides the hefty purse money, races at Saratoga are quite sad so far. Please cut down on the number of racing days and card more route races on dirt. 1) They have got to make it a 6.5 weeks meet, 5 days per week, start on the last saturday of July, and end on the first Sunday of September. A 32-day meet, 10 races per card except for 12 races on Saturdays. 2) Route races should feature 40-60% higher purses than sprint races for all level of races, not just the graded stakes races. Currently the G1 sprint races are worth about 50% of their G1 route counterparts, but the purses for the sprint and route races are about the same. 3) Trainers must enter at least the equal number of route starters as sprint runners for any given week. Each trainer could have more route starters than sprint, but not the other way round. NYRA should then be able to card more route races without fear of them not filling.
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
Look at Thursdays card. Unplayable.Unbettable. Looks like a mid-week philly,del or suff card with the amount of entries. Statement 1 I agree whole heartedly
JOHN CAPPER More than 1 year ago
Was this a dream you had? So, a trainer that excels with sprinters is out of luck. Stop smokin' the manure, my firend.
B More than 1 year ago
What's the deal here? This is not even going to be a race with a really good horse in it!
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
I suppose your idea of a good horse is on that spikes a fever for some "unknown" reason.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
The Travers will be a breakout race for Neck 'n Neck. He's sitting on a monster race as long as he gets a fast track. This horse has figured it out after the addition of blinkers.
JOHN CAPPER More than 1 year ago
Paynter is still on the upswing. Best 3 yo horse in training right now. Yes, I did say "in training", because all this talk will be a memory when he works 3f on Saturday morning with a 3f gallop out
JOHN CAPPER More than 1 year ago
When the races are highly competitive, they look that way. Not al of us are "searching" the DRF for that illusive 2/5 horse.
jon g More than 1 year ago
The O'Neill factor. Obviously,NY got wind that IHA was drugged winning the first two legs,so they saved racing the embarassment of a major scandal by making him scratch so they wouldn't have a tainted TC
mark More than 1 year ago
ill have another was drugged for the preakness, everyone knew it, watch the post race.
neigh sayer More than 1 year ago
Under heavy scrutiny and post race testing, you still believe IHA was drugged for the Derby and Preakness even though nothing was found and he tested clean? You also probably still believe Al Gore won Florida. The better question is why is Paynter ducking the Travers?
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
Here's a dose of reality they were all on one illegal medication or another,the problem is the trainers with a reputation for cheating and a general disregard for the rules are an embarrassment to the officials,makes them look even more inefficient .that is why they went after oneill and duthrow,that is why California issued that suspension only days before the Belmont and forced new York to look as if they were on top of any wrong doing,even though probably most of the horses in new York run on medication that is not caught by testing.if you want to end the nonsense this cat and mouse aproch is not going to do it expelling people permanently especially the big trainers that are often the biggest offenders would go a long way.think about it if you took away say Todd pletchers license should he get caught dopping a 2 year old at Saratoga that would send a message that they are serious,it would erradicate the cheating immediately,but I suspect that if that hypothetical scenario happened it would be swept under the rug or a very modest fine would be applied.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Another good move by Nyra. And they listened to horseman and changed the whole stakes barn idea. These horses can be monitored in their own stables just as well and it won't disrupt them. Strange coincidence that Paynter, Bode have ailments that are preventing them from competing and thus void of the tests? Is Bob a profit or these horses truelly sick? Either way, Neck and Neck,Alpha,and Street Life seem to have the edge in class and horsemanship. Hansen... gutys,well handled, but I can't see it.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Good point. Bob Baffert's records are very average in Kentucky and New York compared to his otherworldly numbers in more liberal jurisdictions like California, Arkansas, NJ.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
You are very astute my friend. You can read between the lines I see.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
If all the entrants are gonna be put into the Stakes barn, they really should announce that now. All that last minute stuff at Belmont was no good for man - or - beast.
PennNatRick More than 1 year ago
I guess there is a chance that Doug O'Neil may come to the spa to say hi on Travers weekend.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
not after I'll Have Another bombed at SAR last year.