Officials at Breeders’ Cup Limited announced Thursday that there were no positive findings for prohibited substances among the 289 horses tested both pre- and post-race at this year’s world championships at Churchill Downs Nov. 2 and 3.
Out-of-competition (OOC) testing of horses that had won Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ races and other targeted possible starters in championship races both in North America and overseas began in June and continued right through Breeders’ Cup weekend.
Breeders’ Cup engages an OOC testing coordinator, William Farmer, DVM 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 last year’s World Championships.
Some 94% (180/191) of the horses entered for Breeders’ Cup weekend were sampled in three European and 10 North American jurisdictions a minimum of one time, with some runners having been subjected to multiple sampling. Through pre-race testing, 85 of 90 individual trainers that were represented at the Breeders’ Cup had at least one horse sampled.
Additionally, all horses underwent pre-race testing for total carbon dioxide (TCO2) levels in blood. Industrial Laboratories 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 KHRC protocols. The program tested for anabolic steroids, blood doping agents and growth hormones, among others.
“We would like to extend our gratitude for the cooperating racing jurisdictions here and abroad and to the participating horsemen who cooperate fully in the Breeders’ Cup out of competition testing program” said Dora Delgado, Breeders’ Cup Senior Vice President of Racing and Nominations. “This comprehensive testing program ensures that a level playing field is provided to all participants and continues the expansion of our world class programs of safety, integrity and security for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships event.”