Delaware to Discuss Options for Blood-Gas Testing

Edited press release

The Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission will hold a public workshop Feb. 21 to discuss options for implementing a blood-gas testing program at the 2006 Delaware Park meet.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. EST in the horsemen's office at the Stanton, Del., racetrack.

Rules for blood-gas (milkshake) testing were adopted during 2005 in preparation of a testing plan to measure metabolic alkalosis levels in Thoroughbreds. Jurisdictions throughout North America have been testing Thoroughbreds to see if alkalizing agents are present.

The workshop, which has been published in accordance with the Delaware open meeting law, will feature a power point presentation displaying several options and testing scenarios. Horsemen are invited to comment.

Opinions and a consensus obtained during the workshop will be shared with the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission at its Feb. 24 meeting. It is believed one of the options will be endorsed, and that blood-gas testing will be implemented when Delaware Park opens in late April.

"In addition to the testing program, surveillance and investigative efforts will also be part of the whole package," said John Wayne, the commission's executive director. "Relying on testing equipment alone is not the whole answer to the prevention of illegal medication administration and introduction of foreign substances to horses on race day. We are ever vigilant to detect any rule violations and maintain the integrity of our sport."