Delaware Approves Blood Gas Testing Plan

(edited press release)
The Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission endorsed a plan Friday to implement testing for the presence of alkalizing agents - or "milkshakes" - in racehorses during the 2006 Delaware Park season.

Under the option selected by the racing commission, all horses would report to a detention barn prior to a race in which they are entered. A random number of horses from each field would be selected for testing, while the others would be directed to the paddock. Each sample would be completed by the time the sampled horses reached the paddock, and the results would be made known to the stewards.

The Metabolic Alkalosis/ Blood Gas Testing instrument will measure Base Excess and Total Carbon Dioxide levels in the blood. Horses that are found in excess of the maximum allowable levels would be scratched. Sanctions are under consideration as well as a grace period after testing begins.