Breeders' Cup completed an unprecedented out of competition pre- and post-race testing program at this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships at Del Mar, Nov. 3-4, which included the testing of 195 horses.
Breeders' Cup has long been at the forefront of out of competition testing and this year the organization enacted its most comprehensive testing program to date. Out of competition testing began in August with all Breeders' Cup Challenge winners and other targeted possible starters in both North America and overseas, and continued right up until the Championships at Del Mar.
Breeders' Cup engaged an OOC testing coordinator, Dr. William Farmer, who worked with regulatory associations and with testing laboratories around the world, including the British Horse Racing Authority's Lab LGC, France Galop's official Lab LCH and the Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory at the University of California-Davis. All three labs are certified by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities. The executive council of the IFHA also specifically endorsed the updated protocols of the Breeders' Cup which were put in place in advance of the 2017 World Championships.
Through pre-race testing, 95 individual trainers had a representative horse sampled. A total of 75 trainers, representing 90% of the horses entered in the World Championships, had runners tested by the Breeders' Cup. Breeders' Cup, in conducting its own out of competition testing, had access to all results prior to race day.
All post-race samples collected from 2017 Breeders' Cup horses were cleared by the Maddy Laboratory as was reported on Monday by the California Horse Racing Board.
All horses competing in Breeders' Cup races also underwent pre-race testing for total carbon dioxide (TCO2) levels in blood. The Maddy Laboratory then conducted post-race testing of both blood and urine samples for prohibited drugs, including cobalt, collected from the first four finishers in all Breeders' Cup races and any additional random horses selected by the stewards consistent with CHRB protocol. The program tested for anabolic steroids, blood doping agents and growth hormones, among others.
"The primary goal of the out of competition testing program is to ensure that there is a level playing field among all participants in the World Championships," said Dora Delgado, Breeders' Cup Senior Vice President of Racing and Nominations. "Our expansion in the OOC program, including more stringent rules on the use of anabolic steroids, are part of our continuing efforts to strengthen the overall safety and integrity of the event. We extend our highest praise for the level of cooperation we received from various racing jurisdictions in North America and overseas."