All the details have not been finalized, but Barretts plans to prevent consignors from treating their juvenile sale horses with clenbuterol within 72 hours of presale under tack shows. The California auction company also plans to change the focus of its drug testing for under tack shows from blood to urine. Blood will continue to be used for post-sale testing conducted under the requirements of the California Horse Racing Board.
The change involving clenbuterol is similar to the ones announced previously by the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company and Fasig-Tipton. The ban on clenbuterol involves only Fasig-Tipton's select Calder juvenile sale, but affects all OBS sales of 2-year-olds in training. Keeneland, which bases its regulations on Kentucky's rules of racing, also limits the use of clenbuterol at its juvenile actions.
"We didn't have much conversation here about clenbuterol last year at our sales," said Gerald McMahon, Barrettss' vice president and general manager. "But based on the national dialogue about clenbuterol and what OBS and Fasig-Tipton have done, we thought it (banning clenbuterol) was the right thing to do."
The decision to emphasize urine instead of blood in drug testingwas based on "advice from our lab and my own experience that the blood sample was too small to be screened properly," McMahon said. If urine can't be collected from a horse following an under tack show, blood will be tested.
Barretts' select juvenile auction is scheduled for March 5. The company will also conduct an open sale of 2-year-olds in training in mid-May. This year's March auction will have 166 horses in its catalogue, down slightly from 172 in 2001, according to McMahon. The 2002 catalogue is the auction's smallest ever.
"Considering there was not a large supply of horses out there, we're happy to have about the same number that we did last year," McMahon said. "As you know, after last year's sale, it was a little bit touch and go. But we've got a good group of horses this year, and national consignors like Sequel Bloodstock, Jerry Bailey, and H.T. Stables are back. If we have a good sale this year, I think we can build on it based on the recent racing success of the horses we have sold."
Graduates of the 2001 edition of the Barretts March auction include grade I winners Officer, Habibti, and Came Home.