Racing jurisdictions concentrated in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions are finding progress to be a subjective term: Much has been accomplished, but much remains to be done.
A booklet put together by several individuals at the forefront of equine medication reform has been prepared for Maryland, which will enact the Mid-Atlantic Uniform Medication and Drug-Testing Program Jan. 1, 2014.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on Dec. 11 approved changes to its withdrawal time guidelines for all racing breeds in line with the national uniform medication rules.
Out-of-competition testing of racehorses has broad support, but important issues such as the constitutional rights of licensees has made use and enforcement difficult for regulators.
If Kentucky is going to join the Mid-Atlantic Uniform Medication Reform's efforts to put uniform medication rules in place in each racing state, it's going to take some work and time.
A major proponent for national uniform medication rules said Sept. 26 the move by the United States Trotting Association to drop out of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium won't derail the effort.
With more stability in racing dates in the Mid-Atlantic region, the chairman of the THA plans to hold a fact-finding meeting to see if there is interest in bringing back the MATCH series.
An initial introduction in Kentucky of the Mid-Atlantic Uniform Medication Program received raised eyebrows, but supporters of the changes are encouraged that the important racing state is giving the program consideration.
- By Tom LaMarra
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium said July 19 its board of directors has approved a model rule on multiple violation penalties and forwarded the suggested change to racing commissioners for consideration.
- By Tom LaMarra
A horsemen's group official involved in development of the proposed model rule for multiple violation penalties said July 15 the regulations are a "living document" that probably will be adjusted based on industry needs.
- By Tom LaMarra
Racing organizations are moving ahead with plans to implement a points-driven penalty system for equine medication violations.
The Thoroughbred Owners of California will join regulators from eight states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast by committing to implement the Mid-Atlantic Uniform Medication Program in January 2014.
While in recent years horse racing has made strides toward drug reform and uniform medication rules, one only need look at its biggest series, the Triple Crown, to see a lack of consistency.
- By Tom LaMarra
The horse racing industry is taking a closer look at a relaxant that produces optimum results when administered within a few hours of a race. The prevalence of GABA, a supplement, is open to speculation.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium board of directors adopted recommendations for thresholds and withdrawal times for four therapeutic medications at its March 19 meeting in Baltimore.
The regulators of eight states in the Northeast region have committed to a uniform medication and drug testing program in a move supporters believe is a step toward uniform regulation of medication and drug testing.
The West Virginia Racing Commission Feb. 26 approved a resolution agreeing in principle with the effort to bring uniform medication, penalty, and testing rules to racing jurisdictions in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
Twelve who are making a difference in the industry. View Slideshow
The Maryland Racing Commission voted Feb. 19 to adopt a uniform equine medication, penalty, and testing program proposed for Thoroughbred and Standardbred racetracks throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
Industry stakeholders, mostly from the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, met Feb. 6 in Delaware to examine equine medication policy in an attempt to bring about uniformity from state to state.
The key organizations in Maryland Thoroughbred racing announced Dec. 14 they have struck a 10-year-agreement for racing at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course.
With regulators and industry groups leading the charge, many horse racing stakeholders believe sweeping medication reform could become a reality in early 2013.
Stalled on the cusp of a 10-year deal that could be the foundation for revitalizing the Maryland racing program, the state racing commission has issued a Nov. 30 deadline for the tracks and horsemen to reach a consensus.
A task force has determined the spate of fatal racehorse breakdowns at Aqueduct Racetrack this past winter was primarily the result of structural deficiencies in rules and regulations employed by NYRA and racing regulators.
In a change designed to win support of its Reformed Racing Medication Rules, The Jockey Club has added a provision governing regulatory administration of furosemide on race day.
As the Maryland Jockey Club hosts its biggest day of racing this year -- the 137th Preakness Stakes (gr. I)--the state's horse industry is bracing for changes on the horizon that could redefine how racing is conducted.
The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association said May 7 it will hold another vote on proposed changes to its bylaws after its general counsel found a "flaw" in a vote taken during a special election April 30.
The racing industry is closer to uniformity in drug regulations and penalties than many admit, but agreement on race-day anti-bleeding drugs in a "toxic" environment will require some heavy lifting, officials said May 2.
Maryland racing industry officials already have scheduled their first meeting to devise a long-term strategy for live racing in the state beyond 2012.
The Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, which represents horsemen at Parx Racing, is back under the umbrella of the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, the parties said Dec. 14.
Maryland racing interests still hope to avoid repeating a situation a year ago that left Laurel Park without 2011 racing dates just a week before the meet was scheduled to begin.
The administration of Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is again trying to resolve a racing dates dispute one horsemen's representative said could "potentially get very ugly."
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) board of directors heard important updates from the organization's race day medication, drug testing initiative (DTI), and research committees during a meeting Oct. 6.
- By Tom LaMarra
Racing industry officials said a report that shows 99.5% of biological samples taken from racehorses and tested by laboratories in 2010 were "clean" dispels claims that horse racing is drug-ridden.
A recent New York Supreme Court ruling invalidating that state's out-of-competition equine drug-testing could have implications in other jurisdictions and the Thoroughbred racing industry.
- By Tom LaMarra
Horsemen's groups largely support proposed changes in race-day medication rules but are drawing a line in the sand when it comes to the anti-bleeding drug Salix.
Efforts are under way to revive the Mid-Atlantic Championships Series, known as MATCH, perhaps in 2012, the program's founder said.
Penn National Gaming Inc. has submitted an application to the Maryland Racing Commission to resume operations at shuttered Rosecroft Raceway June 1.
- By Tom LaMarra
The largest horsemen's groups in the country said they don't support a call by the Association of Racing Commissioners International for a five-year phase-out of race-day anti-bleeding medications.
The Maryland horse industry made its case March 15 for legislation that would shift gaming revenue from capital improvements to racetrack operations.
MI Developments chairman Frank Stronach has offered to meet with Maryland horsemen in the wake of a Maryland Racing Commission meeting at which MID and partner Penn National Gaming Inc. were criticized.
The Maryland General Assembly convenes Jan. 12 for a session expected to include aid for horse racing, but action on the expansion of gambling is questionable.
The Maryland Jockey Club will receive more than $5 million for operations under the parameters of a negotiated agreement that will maintain a full 146-day live Thoroughbred racing schedule in the state.
Maryland racing interests and governor's office will announce later Dec. 22 that a deal has been reached to offer a full 146-day live racing schedule in the state.
A horsemen's representative acknowledged Dec. 21 there's still a little more than a week to get a racing schedule in place in Maryland for 2011, but he said chances are slim if the situation isn't resolved before Christmas.
There still is no live racing schedule for 2011 in Maryland after a Dec. 21 meeting of the Maryland Racing Commission.
Racing in Maryland for 2011 is in limbo after the Maryland Racing Commission Nov. 29 rejected a plan submitted by the Maryland Jockey Club and also rejected owner MI Developments' plan to sell 49% of the tracks to PNGI.
With a Dec. 1 deadline on racing dates looming, Maryland horsemen are advocating a schedule similar to that of 2010 even though a shutdown of Laurel Park for live racing and training is on the table.
Laboratories that test samples for the presence of drugs in California, Delaware, Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and other states have signed letters of intent to submit to accreditation.
For the first time, The Jockey Club will provide live video streaming of the Aug. 22 Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
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