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Belmont Stakes contenders face increased security

The Canadian Press

5/21/2013 2:05:54 PM

NEW YORK -- Horses in the Belmont Stakes on June 8 will face tighter security for the second straight year. They won't, however, be kept in a detention barn three days before the race, as they were last year.

The New York State Gaming Commission and the New York Racing Association on Tuesday said the horses will be subject to out-of-competition blood testing for banned substances. They must be at Belmont by June 5 and will have 24-hour monitoring at their trainers' own barns and stalls at the track. The commission also wants veterinary records for three days leading to the race.

New rules last year angered several trainers, including Doug O'Neill. His horse, I'll Have Another, was bidding to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. The colt was scratched the day before the Belmont with an injury and retired.

Like last year, all equipment, feed and hay bales will be subject to search. Security guards will monitor all treatment by vets. On race day, horses will report at least 45 minutes before race time for testing and be escorted to the paddock.