NYRA also announced that it is developing post-race testing for "milkshaking" in conjunction with the New York State Racing and Wagering Board and Dr. George Maylin of Cornell University, an expert in equine drug testing and pharmacology. The program is scheduled to commence in early February."NYRA is widely recognized for the best Thoroughbred racing in North America and it is incumbent on us that the integrity of our racing is also of the highest quality," said Hayward. "Any violation to this new testing procedure will be met with stiff punishment.""Milkshaking" is the administration of sodium bicarbonate, typically through a tube, directly into a horse's stomach, NYRA explained in a press release, noting "the practice is considered to enhance a horse's performance."
NYRA said the tests will be run under NYRA rules developed by NYRA veterinarians in consultation with Maylin and the state regulatory board."Penalties for trainers whose horses test positive for high levels of bicarbonate will be severe, though they have not yet been finalized," the statement said.Trainer Greg Martin, who was named in the indictment, has had his privileges suspended by NYRA and the racing and wagering board has suspended his license. The NYRA statement said the board of stewards immediately scratched Martin-trained horses entered to race at Aqueduct in the two subsequent days after the indictment was announced. "NYRA has ordered Martin off its grounds and has instructed that his horses be assigned to unaffiliated new trainers or be removed from the premises," the statement said.On Tuesday, Martin and the others indicted, pleaded innocent.