The Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council set in motion major changes in the state's medication and drug-testing policies when it voted Feb. 4 to recommend adoption of the model rules devised by the national Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.
Two horses who ran at Saratoga last summer were disqualified from their finishing positions because of positive drug tests, but Mark Shuman, who trained both horses for owner Michael Gill, will not be disciplined in the incident.
Kentucky racetracks could begin testing for "milkshakes" this spring under their own guidelines, officials said.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium has set a deadline for adoption of recommended uniform medication violations and testing protocol for "milkshakes," which are mixtures of bicarbonate of soda and a liquid force-fed to a racehorse before it competes.
The New York Racing Association, in conjunction with the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, will fund additional research and development into improved equine testing for performance enhancing substances.
The Ohio State Racing Commission tightened its medication rules Jan. 20 to greatly reflect the model rules offered by the national Racing Medication and Testing Consortium. In another change, money will be deducted from each purse to defray all or part of the cost to test blood and urine samples.
Regulators in the Mid-Atlantic region, who have been working together for years on uniform medication rules, agreed Jan. 20 to endorse the model medication and drug testing policy devised by the national Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association medication committee, in response to concerns from affiliates in Kentucky and Ohio, has asked its affiliates to make known their position on the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium's proposal for uniform medication and drug testing.
The debate over equine medication and drug testing in Kentucky may be colored by very important questions: Is the medication policy currently in place in the Bluegrass state legitimate, and are all racing jurisdictions on the same page when it comes to national uniformity?
Following in the footsteps of sister track Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park announced that it expects to implement testing horses for "milkshaking," the force feeding of an alkalizing solution that typically contains bicarbonate, some time during its 2005 meet.
The Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council, which met Dec. 21 for the first time since the fall of 2003, has mostly new members and a new agenda that includes updated and cohesive regulations and perhaps major changes to the state's race-day medication policy for Thoroughbred racing.
State and federal officials raided the Turf Paradise barn area Dec. 15 and found performance-enhancing substances that may have been used on racehorses.
The Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council, which hasn't met since the fall of 2003, has been officially reconstituted. The council serves in an advisory capacity to the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority.
Plans for enhanced security, drug testing, and licensing by the Texas Racing Commission have been in the making for more than a year in advance of the Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Lone Star Park. It's the first time Texas has hosted the Cup.
Horses racing in Kentucky will now be identified the morning of their respective races and before leaving the paddock following a directive from Jim Gallagher, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority.
The Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council, which hasn't met since last October, is being reconstituted under the administration of Gov. Ernie Fletcher and its new members will be announced soon, according to individuals close to the situation.
Michael Gill, the leading Thoroughbred owner in the country in races and money won, said reported positives for a tranquilizer in two of his horses during the Saratoga meet would result in nothing more than damage to his reputation.
Dan Fick, executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club, was elected chairman of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium at its quarterly meeting Sept. 9. The consortium also approved a per-start fee for horse owners to help fund initiatives.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Association, at its next meeting Aug. 16, hopes to consider an upgraded drug-testing plan offered by the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.
The National Horsemen's Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, given the results of a recent study, has suggested research into medication thresholds and withdrawal times be performed using horses in training.
The Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission and Delaware Park have decided the drug-testing protocol of the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association be adopted voluntarily.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority, at its next meeting Aug. 16, hopes to consider an upgraded drug-testing plan offered by the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.
The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association delayed implementation of its drug-testing protocol for graded stakes in the United States because not all jurisdictions were prepared to implement it, the American Graded Stakes Committee said July 14.
Three months after national regulators' associations approved model rules for a proposed national medication policy, the task of lobbying jurisdictions to adopt them continues.
The New York State Racing and Wagering Board has disciplined a trainer, assistant trainer, and veterinarian for two tranquilizers found in the system of Vagabond Saint following a second-place finish in the second race at Aqueduct April 14.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission April 21 called for an economic impact study on the impact of having--or not having--Kentucky signals available at the state's racetracks and off-track betting parlors.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority is moving forward with renewal of an equine drug-testing contract with Iowa State University pending review of the document by the state Finance Cabinet and assurances test results will be expedited.
Officials gathered in New Orleans for the first Joint Conference of Racing Regulators will consider a proposed national medication policy that calls for voluntary use of Salix on race days and use of one of three non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs no later than 24 hours before a race.
The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association remains committed to implementing a drug-testing program tied to the American Graded Stakes Committee by July 1, an official said April 1 during the Joint Conference of Racing Regulators in New Orleans.
Time and money are two of the major roadblocks as the horse racing industry struggles to come to terms with medication, drug testing, and security, officials said March 4 during the joint annual meeting of Harness Tracks of America and the Thoroughbred Racing Associations.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has adopted a position paper on medication and drug-testing that says any changes in policies in each jurisdiction should be enacted only after there is scientific evidence specific therapeutic drugs shouldn't be used in racehorses.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium has approved policy language on race-day use of Salix and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as environmental contaminants, and also formed a subcommittee to review race-day security practices.
Though the Kentucky Racing Commission has been abolished and replaced by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority, the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council apparently remains in place--but not necessarily intact.
The Texas Racing Commission has authorized the Texas Medical Diagnostic Laboratory to increase the amount of ELISA tests it conducts and decrease the number of screens it evaluates from urine samples collected for post-race analysis.
Jockeys at Philadelphia Park voted not to ride the 10-race card Dec. 29 after they were unable to resolve payroll issues with management.
The American Graded Stakes Committee, which is administered by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, will implement its plan of stringent drug testing for all graded stakes beginning in July 2004.
The perception of wrongdoing in racing is strong enough that regulators and marketers must not dismiss it, officials said Dec. 11 during a panel discussion titled "The Changing Environment of Regulation" at the University of Arizona Symposium on Racing.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium continued its march toward a national model policy on medication and drug testing Dec. 10 when regulators responded favorably to the proposal. But wholesale changes in race-day medication rules around the country aren't expected to take place any time soon.
Regulators in the United States will get their first look at a proposed national medication and drug-testing policy Dec. 10, but even if it wins widespread support, it could take some time before any changes are enacted in various jurisdictions.
Industry officials, during a preliminary meeting Dec. 2 at Philadelphia Park, discussed testing for erythropoietin antibodies that could be implemented in Pennsylvania and perhaps a few other Mid-Atlantic states in 2004.
Though regulators on Dec. 10 will examine a proposal for a national medication and drug-testing policy, release of the document to the public hinges on how well it is received during the meeting.
The debate over whether Kentucky should implement a restrictive race-day medication policy heated up Nov. 18 with calls by racetrack veterinarians and trainers to keep the current policy intact, and allegations that the national Racing Medication and Testing Consortium is carrying out an agenda in secret.
The racing commissions that govern Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing in Delaware have been testing for erythropoietin antibodies since June 1, and in the future may implement rules to penalize horses that test positive.
New York regulators Oct. 21 gave final approval to a new rule authorizing the testing of post-race samples for performance-enhancing erythropoetin antibodies. The New York Racing and Wagering Board said the testing would begin Nov. 1, which would make New York the first state to require the test.
Oak Tree Racing Association has stepped up backstretch security for its current meet, which includes the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships on Oct. 25 at Santa Anita Park.
The Kentucky Racing Commission has approved extensive drug testing in conjunction with the American Graded Stakes Committee mandate that it be implemented in order for stakes to retain their grades.
The chairman of the Kentucky Racing Commission has advocated a Salix-only policy on race day in the state, and said he would schedule meetings around the state to get feedback. Currently, five medications are permitted on race day in Kentucky.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium has made substantial progress on a model policy for the horse racing industry and also has allocated $275,000 for four research projects tied to its initiatives.
The Kentucky Racing Commission and the Kentucky Equine Drug Council in October will consider the mandate by the American Graded Stakes Committee that enhanced drug testing be implemented by next year in order for stakes to maintain their grades.
The Breeders' Cup board of directors on Monday officially endorsed the proposed Thoroughbred Championship Tour, and also said it would use a new drug-testing protocol being designed by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association for all graded stakes.
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