Belmont Stakes 2012: Doug O'Neill Guilty Verdict Prompts Tighter Drug Security
With the recent controversy surrounding trainer Doug O'Neill regarding medication-related fines and his suspension, the Belmont Stakes now has new rules to eliminate any appearance of impropriety on the part of the horse handlers.
According to the Huffington Post, all Belmont runners will be moved on Wednesday from the barn they now reside to a detention barn by order of the New York State Racing and Wagering Board. Upon arrival, all horses will be drug tested. Feed, hay and all equipment will be inspected by members of the 24-hour security team.
Veterinarians will be scrutinized as well. As the race draws near, they will need to make appointments to examine their charges so officials can be on hand to monitor every moment.
While I'll Have Another has never been found to have any type of illegal substance in his system, the storm created by O'Neill's latest violation sheds a brighter light on the problems surrounding the horse racing industry as a whole. O'Neill has not determined if he will appeal the ruling.
The last-minute application of the strict barn monitoring will most likely cause a few problems associated with moving the animals, but all will have enough time to acclimate to their new surroundings.
The Belmont Stakes is scheduled for Saturday, June 9, 2012.
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