The New York State Gaming Commission announced today the implementation of enhanced security
protocols for the 149th running of the Travers Stakes and the 44th running of the Sword Dancer
Stakes at Saratoga Race Course on August 25. The protocols cover the two Grade 1 races to be held
that day, each of which will have purses of $1 million or more.
In addition to the enhanced protocols, Commission Equine Medical Director Scott Palmer, VMD, and
the three Stewards will be available to speak to the media in the event of any on-track incidents
during the races.
At the conclusion of the day’s races, Dr. Palmer and the Stewards will be in the press conference tent
adjacent to the jockey’s room after the Travers winner’s news conference to answer questions
regarding incidents, inquiries, objections or rulings that may occur during any of the day’s races.
Saratoga Race Course races are observed by three stewards: one employed by the Commission, one
employed by The New York Racing Association and one employed by The Jockey Club.
Horses running in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes will be subject to continuous 72-hour dedicated watch
by security personnel leading to post-time. During that time one guard is maintained for each horse
For the Sword Dancer Stakes, horses running in the race will be subject to intensified watch by
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.
The security precautions also require a daily veterinarian’s record of all medications and treatments
given to horses within 72 hours prior to the race to be provided to the Commission in a timely
manner and prior to treatment. The Commission will post these records on its web site each day
before races, starting on Wednesday, August 22.
The Commission will also obtain out-of-competition blood samples of horses competing in these
races and send them to the 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.