09/07/2006 11:00PM

Woodbine eases arrival rule

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Woodbine's "big-race" surveillance program, which began with the June 25 Queen's Plate, has been significantly modified for next Sunday's Grade 1, $1 million Woodbine Mile.

For the Queen's Plate and the July 23 Northern Dancer, all prospective entrants were required to be on the grounds a minimum of 48 hours before the closing of entries, which were taken Thursday morning for the Sunday races. For the Woodbine Mile, participants will not have to be on the grounds until 11 a.m. on Friday.

The earlier Tuesday deadline was to facilitate the taking of blood samples and random surveillance in the days up until the morning of the race, when individual surveillance began. Those aspects of the program remain unchanged.

The rule change will also apply to the Oct. 22 Canadian International and E.P. Taylor, the final scheduled races for the program this year.