'Super-Test' Results, Round Two, Due in January

The second round of "super-test" results from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Racing Integrity and Drug Testing Task Force should be released early in January, said Jim Gallagher, executive director of the task force.

The second round of tests dealt mainly with therapeutic medications, or Class 4 drugs. The tests also looked at non-steroidals other than the those most commonly used in racehorses.

Gallagher said he received final results from the University of California-Davis Dec. 12, and now is waiting for "counterpart results" from Cornell University in New York.

During the University of Arizona Symposium on Racing Dec. 5-7, Dr. Scot Waterman, director of methods and procedures for the NTRA task force, indicated there is much to be done after the super-test results are released. Just having threshold levels, for example, without uniform testing methods is a potential problem.

"Even if we all agree on regulatory limits, current testing is too uneven to make it work," Waterman said. "Testing practices must be uniform if medication rules are to be uniform."

The first round of super-test results was based on 1,272 urine samples. There were 22 positives, or 1.7% of the total. Reported violations for Class 1,2, and 3 drugs from 1997-99 were 385, or 0.00075%.

Meanwhile, the official consensus from the Dec. 4 Racehorse Medication Summit in Tucson, Ariz., could be released the week of Dec. 17, Gallagher said. The American Association of Equine Practitioners, which organized the summit, is awaiting responses from the invited participants.

Most participants said they couldn't comment on the details of the closed-door meeting until they had a chance to review the minutes. Gallagher, who participated in the summit and was one of three spokesmen at its conclusion, said the industry at large will learn of the results.

"The AAEP knows it's going to have to become a public document," Gallagher said.

In a related matter, it appears Dr. Thomas Tobin of the University of Kentucky will participate in the next meeting of the medication group as a representative of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. There was confusion over whether Tobin was to take part in the Dec. 4 session; he was in Tuscon but did not participate.

Marty Maline, executive director of the Kentucky HBPA, said he spoke with National HBPA president John Roark, who told him Tobin would be a National HBPA representative at the next meeting. Roark could not be immediately reached for comment.

The next medication meeting, which could be held within 60 to 90 days of the summit, may take place via teleconference.