The number of race horses that failed drug tests in California has nearly doubled since 2000, and the offenses rarely result in disqualification or other stiff penalties, the Orange County Register reported in its Dec. 10 edition.
Racing officials Dec. 7 confirmed a push for regulation of anabolic steroids, and also said the therapeutic substances could be upgraded to Class 3 under Association of Racing Commissioners International guidelines by April 2007.
Delaware is taking a harder line on use of erythropoietin and similar blood-doping agents.
As Churchill Downs prepares to host the Breeders' Cup World Championships, Kentucky regulators are examining the state's drug-testing policies and procedures. Upgrades, however, may hinge on state funding.
Trainer Scott Lake, who currently leads the nation in races won, is facing a 30-day suspension handed down by the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission after a second positive test for clenbuterol at the current Delaware Park meet.
The Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council has allotted $1.5 million over three years to partner with the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium on a research project to determine withdrawal guidelines and threshold levels of therapeutic medications.
Trainer Gregory Martin, who in March pleaded guilty to charges for his role in an alleged multimillion-dollar illegal gambling ring, was sentenced to two years probation with six months home confinement Sept. 28 during an appearance in a New York federal court.
Kentucky has performed random testing for blood-doping antibodies in racehorses of all breeds for more than a year, but now it's testing for the actual proteins, a process that could put more teeth in penalties.
The year's Jockey Club Round Table conference had a decidedly New York theme, with the New York Racing Association espousing its progress and commitment to Thoroughbred racing and breeding in the state, and a representative of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Future of Racing in New York saying the panel is carrying out its mandate.
Members of the Hambletonian Society said they've made personal and collective commitments to raise $100,000 for the continued funding of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium. The decision was made at the July meeting of the society, which has been involved with the RMTC since last year.
A Pennsylvania laboratory is the first to employ a definitive test for erythropoietin--the blood-doping agent commonly known as EPO--and the test resulted in the suspension and fining of a trainer of Standardbreds in Ontario, Canada.
Trainer Jeff Mullins said he was informed by the California Horse Racing Board that one of the horses in his care, Robs Coin, tested positive for a prohibited amount of the anesthetic mepivacaine, and that he is awaiting the results of split-sample tests.
The California Horse Racing Board is studying ways to promote the health of racehorses and reduce on-track injuries, as well as implement a plan for out-of-competition testing.
California will soon release the results of a study that will reflect trends in connection with blood samples taken from about 6,000 racehorses for the purpose of "milkshake" --or TCO2 testing-- last year.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association Medication Committee will review California research that helped develop thresholds for two therapeutic medications during its meeting July 14 in Bloomington, Minn., as part of the National HBPA summer convention.
California stewards issued a unanimous decision July 5 that Intercontinental, official winner of the Palomar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) at Del Mar last September, "did not gain an unfair advantage when it raced with a late treatment of pre-race bleeder medication."
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium plans to recommend a model policy on anabolic steroids later this year and also has approved a plan to establish model policies for withdrawal times for therapeutic drugs used in racehorses.
Doug O'Neill, Hollywood Park's leading trainer, will run his horses out of a detention barn for the next 30 days because one of his starters tested over the permitted level for total carbon dioxide in May.
Out-of-competition testing of racehorses can be problematic, but some jurisdictions are making headway to combat use of performance-enhancing substances that aren't administered on race day.
The Ontario Racing Commission in Canada issued a directive May 19 requiring all owners and trainers to make their horses available for random blood testing.
The Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council is devising a sweeping plan for security in barn areas at the state's racetracks, but it appears funding for an increase in manpower could be the major impediment.
Thoroughbreds at Ohio racetracks will be tested for excessive levels of total carbon dioxide (TCO2) effective May 1, the Ohio State Racing Commission announced.
The national Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, which has succeeded in getting most or all of its model rules package for raceday medication and drug testing approved in a majority of jurisdictions, is officially seeking financial commitments from industry stakeholders to support ongoing integrity efforts.
Eclipse Award-winning owner Michael Gill, who sued the New York State Racing and Wagering Board over two positives for a tranquilizer at Saratoga in 2004, has won his case in New York Supreme Court.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission has adopted 21 emergency regulations that make up a sweeping integrity initiative for horse racing in the state.
The Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission will hold a public workshop Feb. 21 to discuss options for implementing a blood-gas testing program at the 2006 Delaware Park meet.
A 90-day emergency regulation governing infractions of Kentucky equine medication rules expired Feb. 15 and the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority reverted back to the old rules that were previously in place.
Trainer Don Rice, who has topped the Tampa Bay Downs trainer standings six times, has been suspended 30 days and denied access to the grounds of the Florida racetrack for the same period because two of his horses tested positive for "milkshakes" in the past week.
A program designed to increase security at racetracks is being offered for public comment and could be approved by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission in March.
Based on field reports that racehorses are receiving vodka intravenously in an attempt to calm them down before races, the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium has authorized laboratories to develop a test for alcohol.
Representatives of affiliates of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association indicated Jan. 22 they support uniformity in medication and drug testing but need clear guidelines and consistent interpretation of the rules by sometimes overzealous regulators and stewards.
The New York State Racing and Wagering Board voted Jan. 19 to adopt an emergency rule allowing for the collection of pre-race blood samples from horses entered into races at the state's Thoroughbred and harness tracks to test for excess alkalizing agents (milkshaking).
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association medication committee hopes to establish what it calls "proper regulatory thresholds" for trace levels of the urinary metabolites of cocaine and morphine.
A Kentucky legislator is calling for even stricter equine drug-testing measures that call for pre-race testing of all horses within one hour of post time.
A debate over whether the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority has the power to fine violators of the state's new equine medication regulations has led the authority to seek clarification from the state legislature.
New York regulators have altered the state's equine medication rules to bring them more in compliance with other states, but they have refused to join states that permit administration of more race-day drugs.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners' Task Force on Medication Issues at Public Auction has released its recommendations for medication usage in horses presented for sale at public auctions.
Kentucky's new medication rules were approved Dec. 13 by the state General Assembly Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium expects to have enough money to carry it through 2006, but an official with the group indicated it's imperative more racetrack and horsemen's associations commit funds to the organization.
The floodgates opened in the Turfway Park racing office the morning of Sept. 8 when almost 100 horses were entered for the Sept. 10 program that features the $75,000 Weekend Delight Stakes.
Turfway Park, which opens Wednesday night and has been light on entries thus far because of a reluctance by some trainers to enter horses because of changes in race-day medication regulations, is keeping the entry box for Thursday night's program open through Wednesday morning.
More than 3 1/2 inches of rain had absolutely no impact on the new Polytrack at Turfway Park, which opens the evening of Sept. 7, but the impending change in race-day medication regulations for Thoroughbred racing in Kentucky is said to have put a dent in the opening-night entry box.
A judge has denied a request by the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association for a temporary injunction to delay implementation of a new equine medication policy in Kentucky, but he made an exception for veterinarians.
Horsemen and veterinarians who are seeking an injunction to stall the tighter race-day medication policy set to take effect Sept. 7, opening night of the Turfway Park meet, indicated uncertainty over aspects of the policy could impact the entry box.
A lawsuit filed by the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association over the move to stricter race-day medication rules has led a legislative subcommittee that has tackled the issue to back away--at least for now.
The Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association could file a lawsuit to prevent implementation of a new race-day medication policy in the state.
The horse racing industry is in the midst of creating a major research and development laboratory that will be responsible for improving testing capabilities and developing tests for designer and other hard-to-detect drugs used in racehorses, officials announced during The Jockey Club Round Table Conference Sunday in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher signed emergency regulations Aug. 19 that will limit race-day equine medication on race day effective Sept. 7. The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority approved the regulations only four days earlier.
The Thoroughbred medication policy approved by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority Aug. 15 was previously modified to allow for up to two adjunct bleeder medications instead of one on race day.
The Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has asked Gov. Ernie Fletcher to authorize a "full review" before any changes are made to the state's equine race-day medication policy.
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