Media Advisory – Enhanced Protocols for Belmont Stakes Festival G1/$1M Races Include EMD & Steward Availability: NY Gaming Commission

By: NY Gaming Commission

In addition to the standing security protocols for horses racing in Grade 1 races with purses of $1 million or more, the New York State Equine Medical Director and the Stewards will be made available to the media to address any incidents that may occur during races on June 11, Belmont Stakes Day.

New York State Equine Medical Director Scott E. Palmer, VMD, will be available to speak to the media in the event of any on-track incidents during any of the races taking place June 11. Should an on-track incident occur involving a race horse, Dr, Palmer will be available soon after the incident for media briefing in his office, located immediately adjacent to the press elevator in the basement of the grandstand.

At the conclusion of the day’s races, Dr. Palmer and the Stewards will be available in the Belmont Film Theater (after the post-Belmont Stakes winner’s connections press conference) to address questions from the media regarding incidents, inquiries, objections or rulings that may occur during any of the day’s races. New York Thoroughbred races are observed by three stewards: one employed by the Gaming Commission, one employed by the racing association (NYRA) and one employed by The Jockey Club.

Security Protocols for horses racing in Grade 1 races with purses of $1 million or more:

Horses running in the Belmont Stakes are subject to continuous 72-hour “dedicated watch” by experienced security personnel leading to post-time. During a “dedicated watch,” one guard is stationed full-time for every horse programmed. Horses running in the Ogden Phipps Stakes, the Manhattan Stakes and the Metropolitan Handicap are subject to “intensified watch” by a team of six-to-eight experienced security personnel conducting mobile surveillance and direct horse checks at least three times per shift from 72 to 30 hours prior to their race, with continuous “dedicated watch” taking place for the final 30 hours before post-time.

All guards employed for these protocols consist of experienced NYRA security personnel and investigators who receive ongoing education from the Organization of Racing Investigators (ORI) and the Racing Officials Accreditation Program (ROAP).

For all horses in the aforementioned races:

• Horses must be on the grounds of no later than 72 hours prior to their anticipated post time. Exceptions are at the discretion of the Stewards.

• The Commission has taken out-of-competition blood samples of horses competing in these races and sent them to New York State Equine Drug Testing and Research Program at Morrisville State College for immediate testing. The Commission has coordinated with other jurisdictions to obtain out-of-competition samples from horses that not usually stabled in New York.

• Horses must remain on the NYRA facility grounds until after the running of the specified race. Exceptions will only be granted in the case of an unforeseeable emergency, as determined by the dedicated watch security in consultation with the Stewards.

• Horses shall reside in their trainers’ current barns and/or at stalls on the grounds, which shall be monitored at all times by additional security personnel.

• Commission personnel are monitoring all treatments of participating horses performed by veterinarians prior to the scheduled post times of the respective races and examining all paraphernalia. No veterinarians are treating horses without first making an appointment with Commission investigators. All containers for medications administered are being retained by the Commission for possible testing.

• A full daily veterinarian’s record of all medications and treatments given to horses 72 hours prior to the race are being provided to the Commission. Any changes to treatment must be disclosed to the Commission. If medications and treatment records are not provided to the Commission in a timely manner and prior to treatment, veterinarians will not be permitted to treat the horse until this issue is resolved. The Commission is posting these records on its web site each day on Wednesday, June 8, Thursday, June 9 and Friday, June 10.

• Stall entry/exit logs are being maintained by security personnel. All persons including grooms, veterinarians, trainers, assistant trainers, farriers, owners or other connections must have a valid Commission license or NYRA badge on their person before entering the stall, engaging in contact with the horse or performing any service for the horse. All visits are being logged in by security along with the reason for the visit. Routine stall and horse maintenance by identified grooms and staff are being monitored but are exempt from logging.

• All equipment, feed, hay bales, etc. are subject to search and seizure, as provided by law, by both NYRA and the Commission.

• As is current policy, Lasix administration will take place in the horses’ own stalls by a NYRA veterinarian administrator. Syringes will be preserved by the Commission for possible testing.

• On race day, no treatments will be permitted (other than Lasix for specifically designated horses) unless it is for an emergency or as approved by the Stewards.

• All horses participating in the applicable race must report to the Assembly Barn no less than 45 minutes to their designated Post Time. Each individual trainer is responsible for ascertaining their designated Post Time. TCO2 blood sampling will take place in the Assembly Barn before horses are escorted to the paddock. A fine or a scratch may be issued by the NYRA Steward if horses are late to the Assembly Barn.

• Participants in these races receive priority for paddock schooling with security personnel present.