The New Jersey Racing Commission Sept. 17 approved regulations to conduct, for the first time, out of competition testing for EPO (Epogen) and TCO2 testing in Thoroughbred racehorses competing at the four New Jersey racetracks.
The regulations were part of several measures enacted by the Commission in preparation for the Oct. 26-27 Breeders’ Cup World Championships to be held at Monmouth Park.
EPO, or epogen, is a blood-doping agent that enhances red blood cells in racehorses and has the potential to improve competitive performance. The EPO regulation will have a direct impact on testing procedures for the upcoming Breeders’ Cup. Random out of competition EPO testing for horses pre-entered in the Breeders’ Cup will take place before the event. Regulators will be contacted in the various jurisdictions and countries to draw blood from potential competitors.
TCO2 testing measures the total carbon dioxide level in a racehorse. Excessive TCO2 indicates an alkalizing agent, commonly referred to as a “milkshake,” was administered to a horse fto enhance athletic performance. During this year’s Breeders’ Cup, TCO2 tests will be conducted randomly, approximately 45 minutes before post time at the receiving barn. Blood will be drawn pre-race and tested post-race by New Jersey Racing Commission veterinarians.
The proposed out of competition testing rules were opened for public comment July 16. After public comment closed Sept. 14, the commissioners voted to adopt the new laws. The regulations have been forwarded to the attorney general’s office for legal review and will become effective upon publication in the New Jersey Register Oct. 15.
The NJRC also approved the following rules for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships:
-- A net pool pricing agreement was approved, through which wagering on the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in Canada will be placed into the common betting pool.
-- All horses will run uncoupled in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, regardless of common trainers and owners.
-- Jockeys competing in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be permitted to wear advertising on their riding pants, subject to NJSEA approval.