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Belmont Stakes 2012: Stricter Drug Enforcement Announced

As I'll Have Another looks to become the first horse in 34 years to win the Triple Crown, the New York state racing authorities will have new, stricter illegal-drug safeguards for the 2012 Belmont Stakes on June 9. According to Joe Drape of The New York Times, extra care is being taken in light of a number of drug violations by Doug O'Neill, the trainer of I'll Have Another.

O'Neill's horses have recorded over a dozen drug violations in four different states. Most recently, he was suspended by California state racing authorities for 45 days due to a drug violation.

Drape says that all horses competing in the race will be housed in a single, secure barn 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.

Read the rest of Drape's report here.

For more on the Preakness Stakes and the race for the Triple Crown, stay with this StoryStream and check out SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come. There, you'll also find a A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.