By Bob Kieckhefer
"Super testing" conducted early in this year's Arlington Park meet resulted in 26 positives for prednisone but found no evidence of other prohibited substances, according to the Illinois Racing Board.
No horses were disqualified and no purse money was redistributed, IRB executive eirector Marc Laino said. Fines for the 12 trainers involved ranged from $250 to $6,500, depending on the number of positives and the level of prednisone detected by the super testing.
The super testing, instituted as part of an overall Churchill Downs Inc. safety and integrity initiative, measured substance levels to the nanogram level, or one billionth of a gram. The expanded testing program ended late in June.
The IRB and stewards had no choice other than to issue positive findings and impose fines because there is no minimum threshold for prednisone, Laino said. The substance is a corticosteroid.
"But the stewards, in arriving at penalties, took into account the levels of the substance and aggravating circumstances," Laino said. "The detected amounts in no way were performance-enhancing. The good news is that no other substances were found in this testing, which would have detected any levels of use."