As Santa Anita Park prepares to host the Breeders' Cup World Championships Oct. 31-Nov. 1, track management is confident its new dirt surface will perform well and safely.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission announced Oct. 30 that the backlog of its drug testing samples is cleared and testing current at its Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse race meet at Indiana Grand.
The Breeders' Cup World Championships will be held for the first time under reforms included in the National Uniform Medication Program.
The recent announcement by Breeders' Cup to ban horses from being entered in the World Championships if their trainers are found to be in violation of its convicted trainers rule, effective 2015, could signal change.
Officials at a Lexington equine drug-testing laboratory blamed recent long delays in processing samples on a spike of nearly 100 times the number of usual suspicious results this year compared with 2013.
- By Tom LaMarra
Research commissioned by The Jockey Club shows that, though the Thoroughbred industry has made progress in the area of uniform medication and testing standards, a state-by-state approach is at best problematic.
Ogden Phipps said Oct. 6 a centralized regulatory body for horse racing would facilitate changes necessary to improve the integrity of the sport in the United States, but the chances of it happening are slim to none.
- By Tom LaMarra
United States Trotting Association-funded research into cobalt has resulted in a regulatory testing threshold of 70 parts per billion, the organization said Sept. 30.
A Kentucky racing official Sept. 12 said the state has been at the forefront of research into cobalt, a naturally occurring element said to have blood-doping qualities if used at high levels.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission Sept. 4 voted 3-0 to approve rules to regulate cobalt levels in Thoroughbred and Standardbred racehorses.
The New York State Gaming Commission Sept. 4 said it will issue a standard 10-year suspension to anyone who violates the harness racing rule prohibiting the use of substances that abnormally oxygenate a horse's blood.
Denver Broncos receiver Wes Welker, who made a splash at this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), was suspended for four games by for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy.
An analysis of more than 350 blood samples has led the Indiana Horse Racing Commission to recommend establishing a testing threshold level for cobalt and classifying the substance as Class A.
A backlog at its primary laboratory has led the Indiana Horse Racing Commission to contract with second lab on an emergency basis.
Racing needs to beef up out-of-competition testing. read blog
Gulfstream Park, which plans to become the racetrack prototype for integrity in the sport, is to to offer furosemide-free races for 2-year-olds in 2015 and eventually operate an on-track pharmacy to control medication.
Continued improvement in regard to equine health and welfare is closely tied to major cultural changes in horse racing, panelists suggested Aug. 12 at the Saratoga Institute on Racing & Gaming Law in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
The head of the United States Anti-Doping Agency Aug. 11 outlined how the organization could assist the Thoroughbred racing industry should its factions come together and push for federal legislation.
The Jockey Club Aug. 10 acknowledged progress on the effort to adopt uniform medication and drug-testing rules on a state-by-state basis, but also said it will advocate on the federal level for assistance.
The Association of Racing Commissioners International has released a state-by-state breakdown of the results of equine drug testing in 2013.
The West Virginia Racing Commission Aug. 1 hired Truesdail Laboratories in California to handle its equine drug testing and will ask the lab to test about 40 "cloudy samples" from a three-week period in July.
The Association of Racing Commissioners International is considering rules to govern racehorses in training in an attempt to identify whether they are at risk for injury.
The Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and Delaware Park are working to ensure horsemen are promptly paid purse money in light of delays in the receipt of results of equine drug tests.
The Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission is working with LGS laboratory in Lexington, Ky., to facilitate quicker turnaround for equine drug test results.
Multiple racing jurisdictions have adopted all or parts of the National Uniform Medication Program, with others expected to be on board by the end of this year.
As the North American Thoroughbred industry continues its quest to lower the catastrophic breakdown rate, it is actively pushing the need to identify at-risk racehorses, even if the effort makes stakeholders uncomfortable.
The National Uniform Medication Program wasn't on the agenda at the recent American Horse Council convention, but progress on that front was addressed during forums and in conversations among attendees.
The United States Trotting Association said June 16 it will fund a project designed to develop regulatory controls for the use of cobalt in racehorses.
The West Virginia Racing Commission May 20 signed off on several new regulations, including one that will allow the state to participate in the multiple medication violation penalty system that is part national model rules.
Out-of-competition testing on more than 75 horses nominated to the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks (both gr. I), as well as other stakes on the May 2-3 cards at Churchill Downs, came back clean.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission April 30 adopted the Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule and multiple medication violation penalty system, but a watchdog organization said it's premature to call it uniformity.
The odds for Congress passing legislation related to equine medication and Internet gambling this year are long, a Washington, D.C.-based official said May 1 during the University of Kentucky Equine Law Conference.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said April 30 it has far more evidence gleaned from an undercover investigator in trainer Steve Asmussen's barn in 2013, but gave no indication when it intends to make it public.
The Ohio State Racing Commission April 30 announced a settlement agreement with trainer Tim Hamm over a 2013 medication positive involving the eventual Ohio horse of the year.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission April 30 will consider adoption of new equine mediation rules for Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, and Standardbred racing.
Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse stakeholders in Florida said they are united in backing the National Uniform Medication Program, but its fate lies with the state legislature.
"Now, more than ever, we as track operators, horsemen, and regulators must come together to do everything we can to prevent any abuse of our Thoroughbred athletes," Stronach said.
The National Uniform Medication Program will be in place when Delaware Park begins its 2014 racing season May 17, according to the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission.
Thoroughbred industry stakeholders in West Virginia will meet May 6 to consider changes in the state's racing rules, including a few related to the National Uniform Medication Program.
The CEO of the United States Anti-Doping Agency says there are parallels between issues facing the U.S. horse industry and the Olympics when it comes to ensuring the integrity of those sports.
The chairman of The Jockey Club April 14 called for public release of the veterinary records of all horses entered in this year's Triple Crown races, and also said the industry should partner with USADA to push drug reform.
The National HBPA said April 11 it supports changes made by the Association of Racing Commissioners International in regard to uniform medication regulations.
The president of horse racing's umbrella regulatory group said the tendency for self-flagellation and participants' refusal to take responsibility for their actions--or lack of action--is a major threat to the future.
Racing regulators and other industry officials were told April 7 they should use existing tools to push states to adopt the National Uniform Medication Program.
Racing jurisdictions have made progress on equine medication reform but states and their regulatory agencies must commit to move quickly and in unison, said Alex Waldrop, president of the NTRA and chairman of the RMTC.
The outgoing chairman of the Association of Racing Commissioners International said it is "vitally important" racing jurisdictions adopt the National Uniform Medication Program as soon as possible.
Racing officials and regulators gathered April 1 acknowledged a need for transparency, consistency, and quick, cohesive action in response to high-profile incidents.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said it will "go away" if horse racing addresses its medication issues, and industry officials who have been trying to do just that suggest progress is evident but not recognized.
A survey of more than 800 people conducted by HorsePlayerNOW.com, a fan education website that hosts the weekly "Night School" program, indicates a strong belief that racehorses are well cared for in Thoroughbred racing.
Racing industry organizations have greatly stepped up their call for swift adoption of national model rules on medication and drug testing in the wake of probes into allegations of mistreatment and over-medication of horses.
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