By: Blood-Horse Staff
Keeneland will continue its enhanced security measures for horses participating in the April 9 $1 million Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I). The Blue Grass is a spring meet highlight for the Lexington track and a nationally prominent prep for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Horses competing in the Blue Grass are required to be on the Keeneland grounds 54 hours in advance of the race, by no later than noon Thursday, April 7. They can only leave after the race is run, with the exception of unforeseeable emergencies. Keeneland stewards and security will determine if departure from the track is necessary.
Twenty-four hour security for each entrant will begin at noon April 7 and end at 6 p.m. ET, post time for the Blue Grass, April 9.
Keeneland requires horses participating in all other stakes during the spring meet to be on the grounds four hours prior to post time for their stakes. This includes the Central Bank Ashland (gr. I) and the Madison (gr. I), both scheduled for April 9.
Each stakes entrant will be placed under security watch upon arrival at Keeneland.
Keeneland has also mandated other security protocols for Blue Grass entrants, primarily related to monitoring medication administered to the horses competing and keeping logs of any people who have contact with a Blue Grass horse or enter its stall. Anyone entering the stalls or having contact with the horses must have a Kentucky Horse Racing Commission license.
Horses are required to stay in their trainers’ current barns and stalls on the grounds, which will also be monitored at all times by security. The stalls for Blue Grass entrants will have identifying markers on them.
The KHRC will also take out-of-competition blood samples from horses competing in the Blue Grass for immediate testing.
Blue Grass entrants will receive priority for paddock schooling.
W.B. Rogers Beasley, Keeneland’s vice president of racing, said, “Keeneland remains committed to ensuring that the Toyota Blue Grass and our entire racing program are conducted with integrity and transparency. These enhanced protocols have effectively served to protect our horsemen, the public, and our fans.”