New York Rules Target Betting, 'Milkshakes'

New York racing regulators July 31 adopted a series of new rules, including more restrictive prohibitions on betting by racetrack mutuel tellers and final action on a provision to combat “milkshaking” of horses.

“The board instituted a number of rules today that were designed (to) ensure that public trust within the industry continues to grow,’’ New York State Racing and Wagering Board chairman Daniel Hogan said.

Betting by tellers at Thoroughbred tracks was already banned, but a loophole permitted them to wager on races through simulcasting. The new rule adopted by the board specifically bans such wagering by tellers, as well as a first-ever prohibition of betting by tellers employed by harness tracks.

The rule applies to the day in which the teller is actually working.

The board also adopted to make permanent an emergency rule first enacted last year permitting the collection of pre-race and post-race blood samples to test for elevated alkalizing agents to prevent milkshaking of horses. It also covers testing for total carbon dioxide (TCO2) in both pre-race and post-race settings.

The TCO2 standard makes it a violation for levels to equal or exceed 37 millimoles per liter or, for horses administered furosemide (Salix) according to an existing state rule, 39 millimoles per liter. The permanent rule includes punishments of suspensions and fines totaling $2,500 per day during a suspension for trainers and others who violate its provisions.

Finally, the racing board enacted a new rule to lessen the chances of contamination when horses are administered a drug through a syringe. To try to end contamination when a single syringe is used to administer more than one drug, the board’s new rule makes it a violation to use a syringe or needle on a horse to administer more than one kind of medication.

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