New York Panel to Adopt, Amend Racing Rules
by Tom Precious
Date Posted: 3/11/2014 8:18:27 PM
Last Updated: 3/12/2014 3:11:24 PM

Photo: Coglianese Photos

New York racing regulators have a busy schedule of items to consider at their March 12 meeting, including adoption of final rules involving claiming races, tweaking of still-pending rules pertaining to equine drug applications and proposal of a new rule requiring reporting when a horse is gelded.

The New York Gaming Commission, under new chairman Mark Gearan, will also approve the first three members of a panel that will recommend developers and sites for the state's first four casino projects that were approved last year by voters.
 
Their formal appointment begins the clock on a series of events--the first of which is the release of a request for application by would-be casino developers--that is set to conclude by this fall with the selection of new commercial casino operations by the full gaming commission. The site panel, whose three previously announced members have a variety of professional backgrounds, will also then pick an outside firm to help conduct the review process.
 
The gaming commission is expected to adopt rules proposed last year requiring the previous owner of a claimed horse to provide within 48 hours to the new owner a record of corticosteroid joint injections that were made within 30 days before the claiming race.
 
Another rule getting final approval involves the use of extracorporeal shock wave therapy, radial pulse wave therapy and similar treatments. The rule, for instance, states that such treatments may be performed only by licensed veterinarians who use devices and are done at locations previously approved by the gaming commission. Trainers will be required to notify the commission within one day of the use of such treatments.
 
Another rule that has not yet been finally adopted will be amended, based on suggestions from a January meeting with stakeholders. It involves a lengthy list of controlled therapeutic medications. In the category of threshold for "unapproved drugs,'' for instance, the commission's agenda states that the "proposal of per se threshold rules for Thoroughbred racing should be revised to omit the proposed zero (limit of detection) threshold for all 'unapproved' drugs capable of affecting race performance.''
 
"At the heart of the national recommendations was the 'strict' regulation of all drugs capable of affecting a horse's bodily systems that were not among the 'approved' 24 drugs that had been identified by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC). This recommendation was to have been accomplished by uniformly forbidding any detectable amounts of such 'unapproved' drugs in a racehorse's post-race samples. RMTC and the Association of Racing Commissioners International Inc. (ARCI) have altered course and now urge all racing commissions not to adopt such a uniform and strict approach for 'unapproved' drugs. This abandonment of the national goal of limiting horsepersons to only 24 "approved" drugs close to race day is not irrational, as such an ambitious approach would have required the commitment of all significant racing jurisdictions. Among other issues, there are numerous beneficial drugs that can be detected long after their therapeutic effects have disappeared, and one would need to have uniform thresholds for the contaminants that are unavoidable in the racehorse environment (and cannot in race-day samples be distinguished from drug administrations). Most importantly, despite efforts, RMTC and ARCI failed to develop a consensus for uniformity because of the inherent organizational limitations of those bodies,'' the gaming commission's agenda states.
 
The commission also plans to propose a rule that will specify that the gelding of a racehorse be publicly reported. 
 
"Information regarding the gelding of a horse is important for racing secretaries, horse identifiers and the betting public,'' a commission document states. Such information would required, under the proposal, to be reported by a trainer within 72 hours of the alteration if done at a track and prior to the next entry of the horse in a race if the surgery is performed at a different site. It notes current rules do not explicitly state that such updates about a race horse be provided to officials.
 
The reports about the gelding of a horse would be made to a Thoroughbred racing secretary. 
 
"A trainer who enters a gelding, or who causes a gelding to be entered on his or her behalf, is responsible for ensuring that the horse's status as a gelding is listed accurately on the horse's certificate of registration on file in the racing office,'' the proposal states, requiring the reports to include the name of the veterinarian doing the surgery and the date.


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