“All negative,” Zanzuccki said June 30.
The blood tests were conducted June 24 under the commission’s out-of- competition testing program for EPO, which was instituted last October. EPO, Ertyhropoetin-Human, is an illegal performance-enhancing drug.
Levine’s horses were the first at Monmouth Park to undergo the testing; more barns are scheduled for the future. Trainers are not given a heads-up when the random tests are to be scheduled.
Levine, 53, is the leading trainer at the Monmouth Park by a wide margin.
New Jersey’s out-of-competition testing program expanded the racing commission’s ability to test horses for illegal substances by authorizing testing not only at racetracks, but at horse farms -- and at any time. Before last October, the commission was only authorized to conduct testing of horses on race day, and only at New Jersey’s four racetracks.
The out-of-competition testing program has thus far yielded six reported EPO positives on harness horses who have all raced at Freehold and the Meadowlands in New Jersey this year, and at tracks in New York and Pennsylvania as well. The blood was drawn from those horses who were stabled at a farm in Burlington County, N.J. in May.