Updated 08/08/2012 07:15 PM
The Spa Spot: RWB adds Travers security
As expected, runners in the Travers Stakes will have additional security in place prior to the $1 million race on August 25.
The New York State Racing and Wagering Board announced the rules in a press release Wednesday. RWB chairman John Sabini said at the beginning of the meet that some enhanced security was likely to be put in place for Saratoga's major races. Rather than having the runners moved to a stakes barn, as it did for the Belmont Stakes, the board will allow the horses to stay in their own stalls with security personnel in place around the clock.
Trainer Dale Romans was critical of the way the board handled the situation prior to the Belmont Stakes. Romans will not have a Travers runner, but he said the approach being used at Saratoga makes more sense.
"It's much, much better," Romans said. "I tip my hat to Mr. Sabini for learning from the Belmont and coming up with a different way to accomplish what he was trying to accomplish. It's much better to leave them in their barns. I don't care how much security they put on them, but let them stay in their home and don't make it an away game for them."
Trainer Ken McPeek, who is pointing Atigun to the Travers, said he had no issues with how regulators wanted to deal with pre-race security.
"Whatever they decide is OK. We play on the up and up, so there is no concern on our end," he said "As long as they're going to the expense of keeping somebody there - we already have our own night watchman anyway - no problem with it."