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Sweeping Safety Changes Coming To Derby

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Churchill Downs says it is implementing sweeping new safety changes ahead of this year's Kentucky Derby.

The track said in a news release Monday that it will now give winning horses a "supertest" for more than 100 types of drugs, far more than previously required. It also is extending the safety tests for track surfaces, banning certain types of whips and prohibiting horses younger than 24 months old from racing.

Field sizes in many races will also be limited to 10 horses, although there are no immediate plans to change the 20-horse limit on Derby starters.

The company is calling the new measures "Safety from Start to Finish." They will be in effect at the Louisville track in time for the opening day of its spring meet and at other Churchill-owned tracks by next year.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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