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Belmont Stakes: Tampering Under Scrutiny Ahead Of Race

New York racing officials are clamping down to prevent tampering or cheating in advance of the June 9 running of the Belmont Stakes.

The New York Times and BusinessWeek each had recent articles looking at the "extraordinary" safeguards being implemented by state racing authorities.

From the Times:

The authorities said Wednesday that all horses running in the Belmont Stakes would be housed in a single highly secured barn beginning three days before the race.

When the horses arrive at the barn on June 6, they will be given a blood test that will be sent to the state drug laboratory for immediate review. The horses will be under guard, and a limited number of people - trainers, veterinarians and certain staff members - will be permitted to enter. Each of the visitors' comings and goings must be formally logged. In addition, searches and checks of all equipment, feed, hay and bales will be conducted, and veterinarians will be escorted to the specific horse. Lasix will be permitted on race day.

The issue is presumably receiving extra attention because of I'll Have Another's shot at the Triple Crown. I'll Have Another's trainer, Doug O'Neill, has a "long history" or doping violations," according to the Times. He faces a 45-day suspension in California stemming from doping.

The BusinessWeek article talks about how, in 2010, O'Neill is believed to have given his horse a "milkshake." In racing parlance, a milkshake is a cocktail of baking soda, sugar and electrolytes that is delivered through a tube, via the horse's nose, to ward off fatigue.

For more on the Belmont and Triple Crown, check out this SB Nation Cleveland story stream, or this SBNation.com story stream. You can also watch SB Nation's YouTube channel:

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.