Owners -- along with their trainers -- whose horses have repeated medication violations are subject to tough new penalties under changes given final approval by the California Horse Racing Board April 19.
The California Horse Racing Board will begin enforcing a regulation prohibiting the use of front toe grabs exceeding four millimeters in length after commissioners voted Feb. 22 to reverse their decision last month to ignore the rule.
Only about 12% of horses tested for clenbuterol had measurable levels of the medication in 193 blood samples taken recently, according to Dr. Rick Arthur's report Thursday to the California Horse Racing Board medication committee.
A long-running controversy over toe grabs before the California Horse Racing Board could turn into a referendum on trainer authority.
The use of clenbuterol and the potential elimination of anabolic steroids were the primary subjects of two meetings Thursday at Santa Anita.
Quarantine restrictions at Golden Gate Fields, Bay Meadows and the Alameda County Fair at Pleasanton due to the presence of Equine Herpes Virus-1 were lifted Jan. 10, but three new cases of EHV-1 at Los Alamitos Race Course have been confirmed, according to a California Horse Racing Board advisory.
The California Horse Racing Board, under fire for its drug enforcement policies, would dramatically change penalties for many violations and repeat offenses under recommendations passed on to the full commission by its medication committee Jan. 9.
Five more horses from trainer Lloyd Mason's barn at Golden Gate Fields have tested positive for a neurogenic strain of equine herpesvirus after final samples were tested on New Year's Day, although none are showing symptoms of the illness, officials said Jan. 3.
The equine herpes virus quarantine continued at three Bay Area tracks Dec. 31 as Northern California horsemen await test results that won't be known until after the New Year's weekend.
Golden Gate Fields, Bay Meadows and Pleasanton were placed under quarantine Dec. 29 after a horse from Golden Gate was diagnosed as positive for the neurogenic strain of EHV-1.
A suggestion from Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella that rules for claiming races be changed to protect against horses with physical problems being passed along as "hot potatoes" to someone else appears to be taking root.
Members of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium are expected to recommend regulation of anabolic steroids in racehorses, but the timetable for the regulations remains up in the air.
The Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit ended Tuesday in Lexington after more than 40 participants worked together to draft action plans in six areas to improve conditions in the Thoroughbred industry.
The Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit opens Monday at Keeneland in Lexington with a session of presentations and panel discussions that will be open to the public.
Dr. Rick Arthur, the new equine medical director of the California Horse Racing Board, told a meeting of state horse breeders Sept. 22 that he plans to hold veterinarians accountable when trainers they advise are found in violation of horse medication rules.
Del Mar track management held an informal meeting the morning of July 22 to address the spike in injuries and fatal breakdowns during the first days of the seaside oval's summer season.
Track operators pledged their support to improving the conditions of racing surfaces in the state after about 25 trainers descended on the California Horse Racing Board meeting Dec. 1 at Hollywood Park to seek the commission's assistance.
A unnamed virus spreading through the barn areas at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park has reduced the number of horses available to race by "at least 10 to 15 percent," according to Oak Tree Racing Association director and practicing veterinarian Dr. Rick Arthur.
The Thoroughbred Owners of California awarded its Owner of the Year honor to Robert Bone - for the second year in a row - at the TOC Annual Meeting Aug. 13 at Del Mar. TOC also recognized veterinarian Rick Arthur with its Chairman's Award.
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.
With the premiere of the 2005 Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby Series March 5, the American Association of Equine Practitioners' "On Call" program will mark its 15th year of providing media assistance to live network Thoroughbred races.
Trainer Jeff Mullins said Friday that Puppeteer, found to have an excessive level of bicarbonate in his bloodstream following his second-place finish in the Jan. 22 San Marcos Handicap (gr. IIT), was subject to an accidental contamination of alkalizing agents.
The California Horse Racing Board approved pre-race blood testing for "milkshakes" during its Jan. 20 meeting, but implementation of the proposal will have to await passage of a state law exempting the tests from split-sample requirements.
Two race-day detention barns could be in place in time for the opening of Santa Anita's winter/spring meeting Dec. 26, track general manager Chris McCarron told an ad hoc security meeting of racing officials Sept. 2 at Del Mar.
The 5-year-old mare Quick Nip, who was euthanized Aug. 10 at Golden Gate Fields, was infected with West Nile Virus, the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory at UC Davis confirmed.
Siphonizer can breathe normally again, which is bad news for his rivals in the $150,000 Lazaro Barrera Memorial Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Hollywood Park on Saturday.
Random pre-race testing for "milkshakes"--the loading of bicarbonates through a stomach tube to reduce fatigue-causing buildup of lactic acid--began at Santa Anita Park in late February, but the California Horse Racing Board is referring to the program as a survey because no penalties will be applied if a horse tests positive.
The California Thoroughbred Horsemen's Foundation medical facility at Santa Anita Park will be renamed in honor of veteran trainer Noble Threewitt during a ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 25.
A board of three stewards at Santa Anita Park ruled that no penalty should be assessed against trainer Jesus (Jesse) Mendoza for a morphine positive found in a horse he trained in June, 2000. The Jan. 10 ruling stated that Mendoza had "mitigated the circumstances of the charge."
The American Association of Equine Practitioners has spent many hours over the past year getting ready for the Dec. 4 medication summit that will be part of the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program's Symposium on Racing. "We hope for the first time to bring together key stakeholders in the racing industry to specifically discuss racehorse medication," said Dr. Wayne McIlwraith, 2001 president of the AAEP.
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