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 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.
Trainer Todd Pletcher, who recently set a single-season record for earnings, was suspended for 45 days by New York regulators Dec. 15 for a banned substance found in one of his horses that raced a year ago at Saratoga.
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 Kentucky Horse Racing Authority on Nov. 14 gave unanimous approval to revised medication rules that had been the subject of controversy when implemented under an emergency order signed in August by Gov. Ernie Fletcher.
More than 100 Kentucky-based breeders have come out in support of new equine medication and related penalties proposed by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority.
Below is the letter and signatures from Arthur Hancock III to the Kentucky Racing Authority.
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.
In the wake of controversy concerning its new medication regulations, the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council has formed two standing sub-committees to oversee the next phase of integrating the new race-day medication regulations. The two new committees, which will report back to the council, are charged with developing medication withdrawal guidelines and better defining permissible medications.
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 launched what some officials said they hope is a new trend in American racing Sept. 7 when Regal Reproach rallied from off the pace to win the first race on the new Polytrack.
Kentucky horsemen will have a 60-day transition period to adjust to the state's newly approved equine medication laws, which take effect Wednesday, Sept. 7.
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 Horse Racing Authority voted unanimously Aug. 15 to implement stiff medication rules and penalties that closely parallel rules adopted by the national Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.
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.
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.
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 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.
Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher reiterated his view of horse racing and breeding in the state April 21 and acknowledged the challenges, including in-state and out-of-state competition from other forms of gambling.
Scot Waterman, executive director of the national Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, said the group has made significant progress the last year in getting racing jurisdictions to adopt its chapter on medication and model rules, a uniform set of medication and drug-testing policies.
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.
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.
Jennifer Pedersen, one of the top female trainers in the country, has been suspended for 60 days by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, according to a ruling released March 4. Meanwhile, owner Ernie Paragallo, for whom Pedersen trains, claims his barn is being targeted by investigators.
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.
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