Beginning Jan. 26, veterinarians for the New York Racing Association will administer the bleeder medication Salix to horses on race day.
“This important integrity measure will eliminate the need for private veterinarians to enter horses’ stalls on race days,” NYRA president and chief executive officer Charles Hayward said in a statement. “Combined with the expanded in-house drug-testing program that was instituted last summer, we are very pleased with the progress made to protect the integrity of NYRA racing.”
Woodbine in Ontario, Canada, has a similar policy in place.
Beginning with last year’s meet at Saratoga, NYRA enhanced its in-house drug-testing program to detect illegal performance-enhancing substances in horses utilizing state-of-the-art science, technology, and procedural processes. The program includes random out-of-competition testing designed to effectively deter the use of blood-doping agents such as erythropoietin, bronchial dilators, and other emerging substances.
At that time, NYRA ceased operations of the security barn, initiating an “in-today” process that identifies all horses, in their stalls, running in a NYRA race within 24 hours. NYRA tests illegal levels of total carbon dioxide (TCO2, known as “milkshaking”) through an assembly barn where all horses entering a race are required to report just prior to moving to the paddock for saddling.