Kentucky horse racing and breeding industries are losing ground to other states, and if immediate action is not taken to stem the tide, the state could find itself in jeopardy of losing one of its signature industries, according to a 70-plus-page document released Dec. 15 by the Governor's Task Force on the Future of Horse Racing.
Chances are many more officials in the horse racing industry support uniform regulations a lot more than they support uniform penalties -- at least beyond a literal interpretation.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium recently prepared a list of 2009-10 goals, one of which is tackling use of corticosteroids in racehorses.
The Todd Pletcher-trained Wait a While, champion 3-year-old filly of 2006, tested positive for procaine in the $2-million Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) at Santa Anita Park, it was confirmed Dec. 5 by the California Horse Racing Board. Procaine is a local anesthetic found in the antibiotic procaine penicillin G.
Using emergency regulations, the Louisiana Racing Commission has banned the use of anabolic steroids in racehorses effective Jan. 1, 2009.
None of the horses that participated in this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships Oct. 24-25 at Santa Anita tested positive for steroids, blood-doping agents or TCO2 (bicarbonate).
The Sales Integrity Program managed by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association released data compiling the number of exogenous anabolic steroid tests and ownership registry submissions for the Fasig-Tipton, Keeneland, and Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. summer and fall yearling sales.
Legislation that would require racetracks to submit detailed daily reports on pari-mutuel handle and attendance, and various parties to submit racehorse injury reports, has been pre-filed for the 2009 session of the Kentucky General Assembly.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission postponed taking action Oct. 27 on trainer Rick Dutrow Jr.'s suspension and sent his case back to a hearing officer to gather more information.
A week after announcing a major safety and integrity initiative for horse racing, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association board of directors said it has launched a national search for an executive director to spearhead the endeavor.
A hearing officer has recommended the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission overturn a 15-day suspension given trainer Rick Dutrow for a positive clenbuterol test, but the commission has indicated it will challenge the finding.
Regulation of anabolic steroids will be in effect Jan. 1, 2009, in Ohio.
The California Horse Racing Board announced Oct. 7 that in conjunction with Breeders' Cup, it will be conducting random out-of-competition testing for horses pre-entered in the World Championships.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium is developing a five-prong plan to implement equine drug-testing standards similar to those used by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The Governor's Task Force on the Future of Horse Racing hopes to have the framework for a plan to create an equine drug-testing laboratory in Kentucky in place by the end of this year.
Gov. Steve Beshear has made new appointments to the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council, which advises the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on equine drug-testing and research.
During a three-hour meeting of the Governor's Task Force on the Future of Horse Racing Sept. 19, the harsh reality of the lack of funding and staffing for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission was brought to light.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association hopes to have a long-term implementation plan for uniform equine health and safety measures in place within 30 days.
William S. Farish Jr. was unanimously re-elected as Breeders' Cup chairman, and R.D. Hubbard selected as vice chairman, during the third-quarter meeting of the Breeders' Cup board of directors Sept. 5.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission voted unanimously Aug. 25 to ban the use of anabolic steroids in racehorses, and the rules could be in place the first week of September should Gov. Steve Beshear sign an emergency regulation as expected.
The horseracing industry will continue with a serious push to enact reforms related to equine safety and drug testing, officials indicated Aug. 17 during and after The Jockey Club Round Table in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
The Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council has adopted a recommended ban on anabolic steroids that is classified as the "toughest in the country" by the panel's chairman.
Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush, chairman of the congressional subcommittee that held a June 19 hearing on the Thoroughbred racing industry, has questioned the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission's decision to suspend trainer Rick Dutrow only 15 days for a clenbuterol positive.
A subcommittee of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has unanimously recommended that anabolic steroids be banned in horse racing in the state.
The 2008 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale marked the first sale in which the auction company offered buyers the opportunity to have their horses tested for exogenous anabolic steroids.
Kentucky racing officials said they intend on having regulations for use of anabolic steroids in racehorses in place as quickly as possible, but discussion and research are still needed.
Bruce Levine, the leading trainer at Monmouth Park, had his entire stable of 41 horses tested for erythropoietin, commonly known as EPO, by a New Jersey state veterinarian who made a surprise visit to Levine's Monmouth barn June 24 at the request of the New Jersey Racing Commission.
Trainer Steve Asmussen was notified June 26 that a horse in his care tested positive for the Class 2 substance lidocaine following a May 10 maiden special weight race at Lone Star Park, and his lawyer said Asmussen would fight the charge.
A horse trained by Rick Dutrow tested positive for twice the allowable level of the bronchodilator clenbuterol.
The California Horse Racing Board will vote in July on regulatory changes that would result in stricter penalties for anabolic steroids violations, and is soliciting public comment prior to a July 17 hearing at Del Mar.
The bill is fairly minor in nature, enacting a series of mostly technical amendments to a law approved earlier this year giving NYRA a 25-year extension to run Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga. But NYRA officials have said they could not resolve its bankruptcy proceeding without it.
The New York Senate approved a bill June 23 that would establish a testing program for steroids in racehorses via horsemen's contributions.
The United States House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection has scheduled a hearing -- "Breeding, Drugs, and Breakdowns: The State of Thoroughbred Horseracing and the Welfare of the Thoroughbred Racehorse" -- for June 19 in Washington, D.C.
A congressional subcommittee has demanded information from state racing commissions about racehorse breakdowns, drug use, and breeding.
The complicated nature of regulating anabolic steroids in racehorses came to light May 20 when discussion among members of the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council and others seemed to indicate the easiest route is an all-out ban on the substances.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association is prepared for "every potential outcome" on Preakness Stakes (gr. I) day, but no matter the result, developments in the area of equine health and welfare in the coming weeks and months are of the utmost importance, the organization's president and chief executive officer said.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission voted May 12 to extend the grace period for anabolic steroid positives at Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs to 90 days.
Medication violations in California will be subject to stricter penalties under guidelines approved by the state's racing board.
The National Racing Compact, which currently authorizes multi-jurisdictional licensing for the pari-mutuel industry, is being offered as an alternative to possible federal regulation of aspects of the horseracing industry.
The ongoing process of regulating anabolic steroids in racehorses may have turned a corner March 25 when the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium made changes to its model rule. State regulators, however, remain concerned about funding for increased testing.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority intends to regulate use of anabolic steroids in racehorses but will wait until research into the testing for steroids in plasma is completed this summer before it moves ahead.
Gary Sciacca was permitted to begin training horses in New York March 18 after serving a 120-day suspension under the trainer-responsibility rule.
The Virginia Racing Commission will offer free pre-race testing for anabolic and androgenic steroids in horses that race at Colonial Downs this year.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium will hold its spring board of directors meeting March 25 in conjunction with the Association of Racing Commissioners International annual convention in Austin, Texas.
An authority on drug testing who has worked with the United States Olympic Committee and is now advising the horse racing industry has urged caution on efforts to regulate anabolic steroids.
Regulation of anabolic and androgenic steroids in racehorses in Delaware will begin April 19 with an almost three-month "grace period" that will entail penalties.
Steroids, new emergency rules for horse racing, and updates on racetrack casino construction at Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs dominated the discussion during the March 11 Indiana Horse Racing Commission meeting.
Nearly all of the more than 2,000 samples tested for anabolic steroids in Pennsylvania racehorses during a two-month period came back negative, state officials said March 4.
Indiana is moving forward with plans to implement regulation and testing of anabolic steroids in racehorses April 1.
A national regulator said uniform implementation of regulations for anabolic steroids in racehorses isn't practical and suggested horsemen "come clean to the races" voluntarily beginning April 1.
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