The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium board of directors has approved new national laboratory standards for testing, the implementation of a laboratory accreditation program and a new independent Equine Quality Assurance Program.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has scheduled an Oct. 15 press conference in New York to announce a comprehensive set of safety and integrity reforms as well as the appointment of a "nationally prominent independent monitor, to be introduced on Wednesday, (who) will conduct an ongoing, transparent review of the industry's implementation of the reforms and provide public, independent assessments."
Several horse industry groups took a strong stand against legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday that would divert revenue from simulcasting to state racing commissions to fund accident insurance for jockeys, exercise riders, and other racetrack workers.
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.
Despite the passage of slot-machine legislation by both chambers of the Maryland General Assembly, the headline in the Feb. 27 Baltimore Sun cautioned: "Slots' Future Still Uncertain."
In the continuing dispute over the Maryland Jockey Club's closing of the Pimlico stables for the winter, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association has voted to try to stop the MJC from simulcasting out-of-state races.
The Maryland Racing Commission voted Tuesday not to intervene in the Maryland Jockey Club's decision to close the Pimlico stables for the winter. The 6-2 vote set off a flurry of angry responses from horsemen aimed primarily at Tom McDonough, commission chairman.
Mid-Atlantic regulators and the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association are scheduled to meet June 12 in New Jersey to discuss medication and drug-testing issues on a regional and national scope.
The seven-month racing series known as Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championships (MATCH) will not take place this year because of turmoil in two key racing states.
The Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championships, a series of stakes tied together to reward the top horses by division in the region, is on hold pending resolution of racing schedules in Maryland and New Jersey, said Alan Foreman, who created MATCH in the late 1990s. Foreman, chief executive officer of the Maryland-based Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, is hopeful something can be worked out soon.
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