The Maryland Racing Commission has upheld a decision by Laurel Park stewards to disqualify King and Crusader from a victory in the $75,000 Maryland Juvenile Championship because the horse was administered a medication too close to race time.
According to the Baltimore Sun, the commission decision in the appeal filed by owner James Riccio and trainer Rick Dutrow came after five hours of testimony April 10. There was no dispute that the horse King and Crusader was administered the anti-bleeder medication Salix (also known as Lasix) about an hour before the race because the horse had arrived late to the track. That action violated a state racing rule that such medications cannot be administered within two hours of a race.
Riccio contended that rather than disqualify his horse following the victory, the proper course of action would have been for the stewards to order the horse scratched.
According to the Sun, the case has brought to the forefront the procedures used in Maryland regarding race-day medication and how the administration of the drugs are reported to regulators.
The newspaper reported that rules stipulate that medication report slips be completed and reviewed by stewards or their representatives an hour before a race to determine that the proper drugs have been administered.
Chief state veterinarian Dr. David Zipf said that reporting procedure was not being used in Maryland because there is insufficient manpower at the commission to handle the record-keeping, the newspaper reported. Zipf said he relies upon individual veterinarians to report any issues to him, according to the Sun.