Farm Managers Asked for Input on Breed Fund

Jim Gallagher, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority, told members of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club April 5 to voice their collective opinion on how the Kentucky Breeders' Incentive monies should be divided.

"I urge this group to work together," Gallagher said, "and come to the authority with a unified voice on how the money is distributed."

Gallagher spoke of the new Kentucky Breeders' Incentive Fund, which was signed into law by Gov. Ernie Fletcher March 18, and the KHRA's role in how the money will be distributed.

The fund shifts the current 6% sales taxes paid on stud fees for stallions in Kentucky into an equine-specific fund to encourage breeding and foaling horses in Kentucky. The money will be split among Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds, and other breeds such as Quarter Horses, American Saddlebreds, and Walking Horses.

With the guidance from the KHRA, each breed will develop its own distribution plan for the funds and report to their respective group. The money will begin accruing in July, and payments will be made in 2006.

"We're coming at this with a totally blank slate," Gallagher said. "We will welcome any opinions this group has to offer."

Keeneland Director of Racing Rogers Beasley told the group about the new "milkshake" testing program at Keeneland, which opens its spring meet April 8.

Under Keeneland's new policy, every horse entered to race is required to report to barn 21 about 45 minutes before post time to undergo a pre-race blood test. Dr. Rick Sams of Ohio State University will oversee the testing program.

Blood-test samples will be sent to the Ohio State and Iowa State University equine drug testing laboratory for analysis. Beasley said Keeneland would follow California and Florida on testing procedures.

Test results showing a blood serum total carbon dioxide (TCO2) level of 37 millimoles/liter of plasma or higher will be considered to be in violation of the rules, according to the Keeneland policy.

The first horse in a trainer's care that tests above the TCO2 limit will be put on "earned surveillance" and placed in a detention barn 24 hours prior to a race. The trainer will be responsible for the cost of the additional security at a fee of $150 per day.

Beasley said the connections of a horse that tests positive would not be required to forfeit purse money because the testing program is operating under a house rule as opposed to a regulation issued by the KHRA.

If a trainer has a second horse test above the TCO2 limit, he or she will not be allowed to enter a horse in a race at the meet for 10 days from the date he or she is notified of the test results.

A third offense will result in a trainer's expulsion from Keeneland for one year. The trainer will not be allowed to enter a horse in a race at the track for one year from the date the trainer is notified of test results.