With the premiere of the 2005 "Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby Series" March 5, the American Association of Equine Practitioners' "On Call" program will mark its 15th year of providing media assistance to live network Thoroughbred races. "On Call" is a program designed to deliver accurate veterinary information to broadcast and print journalists through media-trained veterinarians who respond to crisis situations and answer questions about the health of the equine athlete."On Call" veterinarians will assist six live televised races in March:
-- March 5: Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II),Swale Stakes (gr. III), Dr. Ben Franklin Jr., at Gulfstream Park.
-- March 5: Santa Catalina (gr. II) -Dr. Rick Arthur at Santa Anita Racecourse.
-- March 12: Louisiana Derby (gr. II) - Dr. Gary Norwood at Fair Grounds.
-- March 26: Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) and the Rushaway Stakes - Dr. Scott Hopper at Turfway Park.Since the debut of "On Call" in 1991, more than 30 AAEP members have volunteered their time and knowledge to the program. Offered during all live network racing as well as arena events such as the AQHA World Championship Show, over 100 events are supported by an "On Call" veterinarian each year.