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.
All horses trained by Mike Mitchell will undergo 24 hour surveillance before racing after one of his horses tested positive for an excessive amount of TC02, which is the total carbon dioxide in plasma from a blood sample obtained pre-race.
A discussion into the use and effectiveness of corticosteroids--therapeutic anti-inflammatory drugs--was full of twists and turns July 21 but inevitably settled on the areas of threshold levels, withdrawal times, and finally the question of whether a stringent policy for race-day medication is practical.
Kentucky chief veterinarian Mitzi Fisher served notice July 13 of her intent to retire, according to Mark York, executive director of communications and public outreach for the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, which oversees the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority.
The state Office of Inspector General has been asked to review reports that are said to show the former Kentucky Racing Commission failed to take action on drug positives called by a testing facility in 2002-03.
A Kentucky legislative subcommittee, now squarely involved in the debate over changes to the state's equine medication policy, has requested records from the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority that are said to show officials with the old Kentucky Racing Commission didn't take action for drug positives called by the laboratory that conducted the tests.
Corticosteroids, which serve as anti-inflammatory agents, will be the focus of a panel discussion July 21 during the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association summer convention in Toronto, Canada.
Ellis Park will randomly test horses before every race during its 2005 meet for alkalizing agents known as milkshakes.
The New York Racing Association, preparing for its meet at Saratoga, will continue to face unique challenges when racing begins July 27.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority is prepared to provide legislators with information regarding proposed changes in the state's race-day medication policy, but as of June 14 it hadn't received official word of the request.
The University of Kentucky has launched an initiative designed to ensure its programs are responsive to the needs of the horse industry in the state.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority delayed action May 16 on a hard-hitting, comprehensive schedule of penalties for medication violations--including ones designed to make racehorse owners and veterinarians more accountable.
Kentucky racing officials said a program for heightened security and expanded drug testing for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs went smoothly.
A hard-hitting, comprehensive schedule of penalties for medication violations--including ones designed to make racehorse owners more accountable--is headed to the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority for consideration at its May 16 meeting.
Favorites took the collar on opening day at Belmont Park's 100th anniversay on Wednesday, the first day of race-day security barn measures for all New York Racing Association races.
The New York Racing Association's race-day detention program will begin May 4, opening day of the Belmont Park spring meet, and also be used later in the year at Saratoga and Aqueduct, officials said.
Officials outlined the protocol for "milkshake" tests at Keeneland during an informational meeting April 6, and also told horsemen to be aware that some feed and supplements could help trigger a higher-than-normal TCO2 reading in a horse's blood.
Keeneland will host a horsemen's forum April 6 to explain how it intends to test for "milkshakes" during its spring meet, which kicks off April 8.
New regulations patterned after model policies offered by the national Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and regulators in the Mid-Atlantic region will in place in Virginia when Colonial Downs opens for live racing in June.
By Edward S. Bonnie - Would you pay $5 per start to support better drug testing, research, and track security? The average Thoroughbred races eight times per year. Hence, the average Thoroughbred owner would pay $40 per year per horse to help ensure competition on a level playing field.
The Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council is considering substantial penalties for drug violations in horse racing, including combinations of fines and suspensions, use of detention barns, and provisions for horses to be barred from racing for specific periods of time depending on the offense.
The veterinarian in charge of the committee that oversees Santa Anita Park's milkshake testing program said he has nothing to do with the process and is only involved when notified that a trainer's horse has exceeded the acceptable level of total carbon dioxide in its blood.
Keeneland has issued the parameters and penalties for pre-race "milkshake" tests it plans to implement during its April 8-29 spring meet.
The Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission has approved model uniform medication rules as recommended by regulators in the Mid-Atlantic region and hopes to have blood-gas testing for "milkshakes" in place by the time Delaware Park opens April 30 for its 135-day meet.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners, in an effort to educate members, has issued guidelines for the responsible use of compounded medications by veterinarians.
Despite a final plea by a group of local horsemen, the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority unanimously moved Feb. 22 to adopt the model race-day medication rules proposed by the national Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.
The New York Racing Association will begin pre-race and post-race testing for "milkshakes" Feb. 16 at Aqueduct. Both forms of testing will be performed in an effort to collect data to determine the best method.
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.
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