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Steps taken to improve horse safety after 17 deaths NY track

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) Additional safety measures are being implemented at Saratoga Race Course after the deaths of 17 horses on the grounds so far this year.

The New York state Gaming Commission announced Monday the enhanced measures include more veterinarians at the track during training hours.

The agency says the steps are being taken along with the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and the New York Racing Association, which operates Saratoga, Belmont and Aqueduct.

The 17 horse deaths as of Monday are one more than the 2016 total. This year’s deaths include eight on the main track or turf course and at the Oklahoma Track, the training facility.

Eight others have occurred during races since the season began July 21. The other death was a non-racing fatality.

Texts reveal extent of doping scandal in Aussie horse racing

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MELBOURNE, Australia — A newspaper has revealed text messages between a leading trainer and stable staff involved in a doping scandal that resulted in eight persons being charged and may have included the 2015 Melbourne Cup, Australia’s richest and most prestigious horse race.

The Herald Sun in Melbourne said Wednesday the texts, uncovered by integrity investigators, detailed conversations over the alleged administration of illegal doses of performance-enhancing sodium bicarbonate in a practice known as “tubing” just before a race.

The newspaper said the most explosive text came on the eve of the 2015 Melbourne Cup where a trainer and stable hand discussed using “top-ups,” allegedly a reference to a mix of prohibited substances often administered within minutes of competition.

The stable hand responds that he’ll need a “wheelbarrow” to carry them all after the trainer requests the top-up. He then adds: “I’ll be walking funny, got two Cup horses as well.”

The eight persons charged last month face 271 offenses since 2010.

“The Integrity Services Department and our stewards have worked swiftly to fully investigate these matters resulting in the laying of charges,” Racing Victoria chief executive Giles Thompson said when the charges were announced in January.

British horse racing inspired by Formula 1 for new series

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LONDON (AP) British horse racing is drawing inspiration from motor racing for a new championship.

Twelve branded teams will compete over eight consecutive Thursdays at different race courses across Britain when “The Series” is launched by Championship Horse Racing in 2019.

The aim is for each team to feature 30 horses and four jockeys. Each of the teams will enter one horse into each of the races to create 12-runner fields.

Organizers say a Formula One-style points system will be used to determine the winners of championships for teams and jockeys.

Championship Horse Racing CEO Jeremy Wray says it’s a chance to engage fans with “bite-size, interactive content.”

The Series has been developed with the Jockey Club, which hopes to attract a new audience to horse racing.