Racing industry participants expressed hope Tuesday morning that a five-hour facilitated session on medication would at least serve as a starting point toward uniformity. No one expected radical changes in current policies that vary by jurisdiction in the United States.
The Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has taken issue with the conduct of the state's Equine Drug Council and has asked the Kentucky Racing Commission to make sure the council complies with regulations.
Kentucky has taken its ban on "milkshakes" in Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing one step further with a specific directive that naso-gastric tubes cannot be used at all on raceday, even for therapeutic purposes. The commission said the directive was issued "to inform current and newly licensed veterinary practitioners of current policy."
The Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association on Nov. 27 issued a list of recommendations that call for a restructuring of medication use and drug testing procedures in horse racing. Among them are formation of a non-profit consortium that would be funded via a per-start fee for every Thoroughbred, Standardbred, and Quarter Horse.
By Dr. C. Wayne McIlwraith -- The industry wants horse racing to increase in popularity and achieve the status of a major league sport. The time is right for us all to come together and reach consensus on medication issues.
California Horse Racing Board officials are refusing to discuss a federal judge's decision to dismiss the board's case against trainer Bob Baffert in regard to a positive test for morphine in one of his horses last year.
In what is believed to be the first suspension in the country for a positive test for the drug benzylpiperazine, New England trainer Tammi Piermarini was suspended Tuesday until Jan. 10, 2002. The Suffolk Downs board of stewards also fined her $500 and took away first-place purse money won by Dixie Draw Oct. 6 at the Masschusetts track.
In what is believed to be a record fine for a Standardbred horseman in Kentucky, Dale Loney, a trainer and driver, was fined $5,000 after tests revealed two of his horses had been "milkshaked" on the same race day at Thunder Ridge Raceway in Prestonsburg.
The New South Wales Racing Laboratory has developed a test to detect the drug erythropoietin, commonly known as EPO, in racehorses, according to release on the Racing New South Wales Web site. The medication is considered a performance-enhancer.
The University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program hopes to make the results of its medication survey available at its Symposium on Racing, scheduled for the first full week of December. A major medication summit will be held Dec. 4 of that week in Tucson.
Veterinarians have asked the Kentucky Racing Commission to consider changes in regulations that govern use of naso-gastric tubes and the administration of Salix, the diuretic formerly known as Lasix. The practitioners, a few of whom spoke during a commission meeting Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs, said they want to protect the health of horses as well as their ability to do their jobs.
The European contingent for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships arrived in good order this year despite some concerns over international travel in light of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. In fact, this year's shippers are said to make up one of the strongest groups ever.
Officials with the American Association of Equine Practitioners acknowledge that their "Racehorse Medication Summit" planned for Dec. 4 appears to have moved some organizations to action. But they admit the complex issue of medication and drug-testing can't be addressed in one day.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- What we may have by year's end are as many as a half-dozen proposals for medication.
The Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association hopes to release a sweeping national medication and drug-testing proposal either before or during the University of Arizona Symposium on Racing, which begins Dec. 4. It would become the second major horsemen's group to issue a medication proposal this fall.
In a proactive measure, the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association issued a proposal for national drug-testing and therapeutic medication policies for substances known to affect the performance of racehorses. The organization hopes to generate dialogue in the industry before the American Association of Equine Practitioners' medication summit Dec. 4 in Arizona.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has put together its own guidelines for national drug-testing and will unveil the model Thursday morning during a press conference at Keeneland.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association's Racing Integrity and Drug Testing Task Force will attempt to break down barriers that separate breeds in an attempt to shore up drug-testing procedures in horse racing.
Frank Brothers, who trained privately for Joe Allbritton's Lazy Lane Farm in the late 1980s and early '90s, will soon again be only handling horses for that operation.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association's Racing Integrity and Drug Testing Task Force report, to be released Sunday, may be the tip of the iceberg, officials said Saturday during a teleconference that originated in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
An undisclosed number of positive tests for the Class 3 drugs phenylpropanoloamine and norpseudoephedrine has prompted the California Horse Racing Board to urge trainers to scrutinize any herbal products or food supplements they feed their horses. Fifteen trainers were notified on Aug. 9 by the board, asking them to avoid a specific herbal product.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners has formed a task force to identify therapeutic medications used in racehorses. The organization was approached by the Testing Integrity Program, commonly known as TIP.
A resolution supporting Thoroughbred racing medication policies in Kentucky wasn't approved unanimously by the Kentucky Association of Equine Practitioners as had been reported, a KAEP member said Friday.
The Kentucky Racing Commission has put its plan for a new equine drug testing contract on hold because of technical problems with the bidding process, officials said. An update by the Equine Drug Council was on the agenda for Tuesday morning's racing commission meeting in Lexington.
Trainer Bob Baffert received a stay of the 60-day suspension he was given last Sunday by California Horse Racing Board stewards as a result of a positive test for trace levels of morphine in Nautical Look, a Baffert-trained runner who won a maiden race at Hollywood Park last May 3.
Trainer Nick Zito had his license suspended for 15 days and was fined $2,000 by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board Thursday for a positive test for the analgesic Lidocaine at Saratoga in August of 2000.
Lasix is now SALIX in the veterinary industry. When Intervet acquired Hoechst Roussel Vet in November 1999, Intervet agreed that Aventis Pharmaceuticals would retain Lasix as the registered trademark for the human drug. So the veterinary furosemide product has become SALIX.
Jim Gallagher, executive director of the NTRA task force, said Friday the group has reviewed about 700 samples thus far, and hopes to have 1,200 samples finished in a few months. Task force members met Wednesday in Lexington.
More than 700 samples have been reviewed through the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's "super testing" program, with another 1,100 on the way before an Aug. 1 deadline. But in the absence of national equine medication rules, the "calling of positives" will depend upon the jurisdiction.
The Nebraska State Racing Commission has served hearing notices to seven trainers of horses whose post-race samples tested positive for clonidine, a drug used in humans to treat high blood pressure. The commission released the names of the trainers Thursday as a matter of public record.
Beginning with the Keeneland July yearling auction, Eaton Sales will post medication lists at its barns, said Reiley McDonald, a co-owner of the company. The lists will contain information about any treatments the horses receive while stabled on the sale grounds.
Should consignors be allowed to medicate sale 2-year-olds with clenbuterol right before they breeze in under tack shows? The answers to that question were mixed during a panel discussion that was conducted during a meeting of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club Tuesday night in Lexington.
A human drug used to treat high blood pressure, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and addictive behavior has been detected in at least 10 post-race samples of horses racing in Nebraska recently, and sources say the number of positive tests could double in the coming weeks. Seven trainers have been notified by the Nebraska Racing Commission that their horses tested positive for Clonidine, which drug testing experts say can have both a calming and analgesic effect on horses and is closely related to Romifidine and Guanabenz, two drugs suspected by racing officials as being used illegally on horses.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- By almost any measure, Thoroughbreds racing today are not much faster and certainly less durable than their ancestors.
Tests conducted on juveniles that participated in under-tack shows prior to the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s March select auction did not detect any performance enhancing-drugs, but therapeutic medications were found in blood samples from three horses whose consignors had not reported the treatments, said Tom Ventura, general manager and director of sales for OBS.
The next Symposium on Racing will include an all-day meeting on medication to be conducted by the American Association of Equine Practitioners. The Dec. 4 "summit" will look at the administration of therapeutic medications and discuss the standards and policies the industry should employ when treating horses for racing.
The National HBPA tackled medication issues during a meeting Sunday, and representatives believe the Thoroughbred industry can do quite a bit to alter the perception that horse racing is rife with medication abuse and use of performance-enhancing drugs in racehorses.
Nick Zito, who has trained a pair of Kentucky Derby winners, was suspended for 15 days and fined $1,000 by the New York Racing Association on Thursday after a banned substance was found in one of his horses. Zito appealed the penalties, meaning they do not immediately take effect.
California-based trainer Ben Cecil has been fined HK$50,000 (about US$6,410) by Hong Kong Jockey Club stewards as a result of Falcon Flight testing positive for a prohibited substance prior to Sunday's Hong Kong International Cup. HKJC stewards will also reportedly review the circumstances surrounding the impressive victory by Sunline in the Hong Kong Mile. Greg Childs, who rode Sunline, said that he and another jockey discussed strategy prior to the race.
Race-day medication is a necessity, but there should be limits on the use of therapeutic drugs to treat horses that are competing, Eclipse Award-winning trainer Bob Baffert told the American Association of Equine Practitioners on Sunday. Baffert was the keynote speaker for the organization's annual convention in San Antonio, Texas.
Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor's Montjeu will not be administered lasix prior to the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), but the 4-year-old colt will be racing on bute in the 1 1/2-mile race, trainer John Hammond told Sporting Life.
A call for uniform medication guidelines and restrictions on therapeutic medications on race day has won praise and concern.
Jim Gallagher, who spearheads the new "super testing" project for the NTRA, believes meeting on medication with all the key players could be advantageous.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners has adopted a new policy regarding therapeutic medication in racehorses that, among other things, calls for a ban on all race day medications other than the diuretic furosemide used to treat internal bleeding.
By Ray Paulick -- Let's not get carried away with the idea that the only honest people in this game are the ones who aren't winning.
Perhaps it's a good sign that the medication of racehorses again was a prominent topic at the annual Jockey Club Round Table held Sunday in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
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