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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


Edited Breeders’ Cup  — Breeders’ Cup Limited announced today that its Veterinary Review Team has conducted the first stage of an extensive assessment of the veterinary and treatment records associated with more than 200 potential contenders for the 2023 Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

The 2023 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, featuring 14 Grade 1 races and $31 million in purses and awards, will showcase the best Thoroughbreds from around the globe Nov. 3-4 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.

Working in conjunction with Dr. Jennifer Durenberger of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA), Dr. Will Farmer and Dr. Debbie Lamparter of the Breeders’ Cup Veterinary Team, Dr. Jeff Blea and Dr. Timothy Grande of the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), and Dr. Dionne Benson of 1/ST Racing led the initial review.

The second review, similar to the first, began once pre-entries were taken Oct. 23, and further hands-on exams will be conducted at Santa Anita Park beginning Oct. 27 and continuing up to race day. All contenders are subject to random physical examination at the determination of the Breeders’ Cup Veterinary Team.

Conducted to this extent for the first time, the joint effort began in early October and is designed to ensure, to the fullest extent possible, that every horse aiming to compete in a Breeders’ Cup race is fit to race before traveling to Santa Anita Park for the 40th running of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The process involves a thorough review of each horse’s medical records and training and racing patterns, physical examinations conducted by veterinarians in relevant state racing jurisdictions, and the use of enhanced diagnostic tools, including PET scans and other modalities, in the event additional scrutiny is required.

“This enhancement to the best-in-class safety protocols already required by the Breeders’ Cup provides an extra layer of veterinary oversight as we strive to ensure we are administering the safest two days of racing possible,” said Dora Delgado, Breeders’ Cup Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Officer. “We would like to thank our veterinary team, the veterinarians at 1/ST Racing, the CHRB, HISA, and all the regulatory vets who were involved and our counterparts at tracks around the world for helping us execute this massive undertaking.”

The new protocol is an addition to the best-in-class safety and integrity protocols already in place ahead of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which also include:

  • Extensive out of competition testing in the five months prior to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and additional pre-race testing performed by Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU)-certified veterinarians.
  • A mandatory security check-in for international contenders Sunday, Oct. 29 by 10:00 p.m. PT and domestic contenders on Tuesday, Oct. 31 at 11:00 a.m. PT.
  • Enhanced on-site veterinary inspections, including hands-on examinations, random inspections, and observations on the track and around the stabling area including a mandatory under rider jog-up exam conducted every morning before training beginning Oct. 27.
  • Mandatory anti-doping testing carried out by HIWU-certified veterinarians and technicians on Tuesday, Oct. 31 of all Breeders’ Cup contenders for banned substances.
  • Surface testing and maintenance overseen by Mick Peterson and Santa Anita Park surface experts.

Additional safety and integrity updates and protocols will be outlined ahead of the Nov. 3-4 Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

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