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Belmont Stakes 2012: Tougher Drug Rules To Be Enforced

On June 9, I'll Have Another will try to become the first Triple Crown winner in 34 years at the 2012 Belmont Stakes, and New York racing officials are trying to make sure that it's all done legally. As Joe Drape reported in The New York Times, state racing authorities have announced "extraordinary" illegal drug safeguards.

This comes on the heels of a 45-day suspension handed out by California racing regulators to I'll Have Another's trainer, Doug O'Neill, for drug-enhancement violations last week. In total, O'Neill's horses have more than a dozen drug violations in four different states.

Drape describes the stricter process:

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.

Check out Drape's full report for more information.

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.