ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) -- The Breeders' Cup is relaxing its rules to accommodate horses stranded in New York because of Hurricane Sandy.
All horses running in the races at Santa Anita normally must be on the grounds 72 hours before race time. With the hurricane raging, a flight scheduled to leave Tuesday carrying several of trainer Todd Pletcher's runners was postponed until Wednesday, putting horses entered in Friday's races outside the 72-hour window.
For the first time, the Breeders' Cup will allow those horses to compete. Agents from the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau will accompany the horses on the flight to monitor all activity and ensure all other rules are followed, especially with respect to medication.
"They will be under surveillance from the time they leave to comply with the 72-hour rule," said Craig Fravel, the Breeders' Cup president. "The horses racing on Saturday will be within the 72-hour rule. We're very hopeful those horses have a smooth trip out here."
Seventeen horses arrived Monday morning following a flight that left Newburgh, N.Y., at 1 a.m., eight hours earlier than initially scheduled to avoid the rain and high wind. The airport also was a last-minute change, replacing Islip on Long Island that was more directly in the path of storm.
The contingent included the powerful quartet of Flat Out, Ron the Greek, To Honor and Serve and Royal Delta for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. Royal Delta is the defending champion in the Ladies' Classic, while the other three are entered in the $5 million Classic.
The flight included horses for Chad Brown, Shug McGaughey, Mike Hushion, Michael Trombetta and Diane Alvarado.
DOLLED UP: Groupie Doll dazzled the clockers Monday morning at Santa Anita, zipping three furlongs in 34.40 seconds in preparation for the Filly & Mare Sprint. It tied for the fastest of 19 workouts at that distance.
The 4-year-old trained by Buff Bradley has won four straight stakes since adding blinkers that restrict the field of vision to help a horse focus better. The victories include the Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs and the Thoroughbred Club of America at Keeneland.
She was a decisive winner in all four, with the margin of victory ranging from 3 to 6
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