Kentucky horsemen will have a 60-day transition period to adjust to the state's newly approved equine medication laws, which take effect Wednesday, Sept. 7.
During the 60-day period those caught violating the new regulations will receive a warning as it relates to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and other therapeutic medications, said Jim Gallagher, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority during a KHRA meeting Sept.6.
"What we want to try to do is explain that we are in a transition period from a rule that has been in place for 20 years to a rule that takes effect with the opening of Turfway Park (Sept. 7)," Gallagher said. "We realize it had to have a certain rollout period, so people had a comfort level with what we are trying to accomplish. We want to work with everybody to try to have a real good rollout."
Gallagher is planning a series of meetings with horsemen beginning Sept. 7 at Churchill Downs in an effort to answer any questions over how the new medication regulations could affect them. Meetings are also scheduled at Turfway Park Sept. 8 and Sept. 9 at Keeneland.
The new medication policy calls for use of only Salix, an anti-bleeder medication, and two of four adjunct bleeder medications on race day up to four hours before a race. It also allows for one of three non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs up to 24 hours before a race. Under the current policy, two NSAIDs can be used up to four hours before a race.
"The only thing that's changed is that you can't have multiple non-steroidals in a horse's system on race day," Gallagher said. "If we change the testing protocol we will let everyone know."
The KHRA also heard a presentation from Louisville attorney Tim McCall concerning a ninth racetrack license for Cumberland Downs in Whitley County. The track would offer both Quarter Horse and Standardbred racing on a seven-eighths mile oval.