drug testing

Maryland THA Issues Warning on Adjunct Bleeder Medication

The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association issued the following statement to its members Tuesday: "Effective immediately, horsemen are urged to discontinue the use of any and all adjunct bleeder medications for horses in training, including in particular, aminocaproic acid--commonly called Amicar. Amicar and several other adjunct bleeder medications were placed on the Prohibited List in 2013 under the Association of Racing Commissioners International Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances and Recommended Penalties Model Code and the National Uniform Medication Program. Aminocaproic acid, for example is a Class 4 substance and penalty...

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CBD: Should It be Used on the Backstretch?

In March of 2018 when the ground around Ontario was frozen solid as a rock, Warren Byrne took a nasty spill. He had just hopped on a hot-headed unraced 3-year-old gelding when it took off blindly. Byrne was pitched onto the hard ground, breaking his upper arm--an extensive fracture that required a plate and seven screws. After the surgery, doctors warned Byrne that he was suffering bone-density issues from a medication he had long taken, describing the problem as being akin to early osteoporosis. He also reacted badly to the...

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Q&A: Mary Scollay on Drug Testing Protocols & Baffert Otomax Explanation

Since Sunday morning, horse racing has largely been a one-issue sport. That morning, of course, trainer Bob Baffert announced that GI Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit (Protonico) had tested positive for 21 picograms per milliliter of betamethasone in a post-race sample. Betamethasone is a regulated corticosteroid commonly used in horse racing as an intra-articular joint injection. In Kentucky as of last year, a detection of betamethasone at any level is deemed a violation. The previous threshold was 10 picograms per milliliter. A split sample will now go for confirmation testing....

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TIF: How Will Racing Pay for HISA? Grow the Business!

by Thoroughbred Idea Foundation The creation of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) is the most significant development in American racing at the federal level since the passage of the Interstate Horseracing Act in 1978. Questions now being rightly considered include how much HISA will cost and where will its funding originate from. Below, we offer some perspective on the costs. But as the greater industry determines where the funding will come from over time, racing should proactively adopt policies which seek to grow the wagering business. The industry...

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New York Advances Clenbuterol Restrictions

The New York clenbuterol clampdown that was foreshadowed earlier this month by New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) equine medical director Scott Palmer, VMD, has been codified into a series of proposed rule amendments that advanced Nov. 30 by a unanimous 5-0 commission vote. The new clenbuterol regulations follow a model rule of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) that was approved last August. After publication in the New York State Register and a public commentary period, the commission will have to vote again to formally adopt the changes....

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Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission Comes Out Against HISA

Citing lack of financial information outlined in its framework, the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission (DTRC) unanimously voted Oct. 14 to oppose U.S. Senate Bill 4547, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act. The U.S. House of Representatives passed its version (HR 1754) Sept. 29 by a voice vote. The Delaware Harness Racing Commission (DHRC) has also come out in opposition of the pending legislation, claiming the bill is an "unnecessary burden that could be potentially harmful to the entire horseracing industry." According to a release, the DTHC claims that unknown costs...

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Keeneland, Fasig-Tipton Announce New Restrictions On Drugs, Including Clenbuterol

Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton are instating new restrictions on the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids and bronchodilators, including Clenbuterol, for all horses sold at sales conducted by the two major Thoroughbred auction houses effective immediately, officials from Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton announced Thursday. These latest reforms are in addition to restrictions put in place earlier this year for 2-year-old sales held at Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton, and follow action in 2009 to ban the use of anabolic steroids in sales horses and last year's ban on the off-label use of bisphosphonates...

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Positive CBD Test Results in Suspension, Fine for Calhoun

A positive test for the Class B substance cannabidiol (CBD) in a filly who broke her maiden last summer at Ellis Park has resulted in a 30-day suspension and $500 fine for trainer W. Bret Calhoun. Citing mitigating circumstances ("number of violations in relation to overall record"), the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) wrote in an Apr. 14 ruling that Calhoun would only have to serve ten days of his penalty between Apr. 14 and 23. The remainder of his suspension will be stayed "on the condition that no Class...

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Kentucky Budget Bill Includes $1.5M for Drug Testing Lab

Kentucky's executive branch budget bill that is awaiting either passage or line-item vetoes from Gov. Andy Beshear contains a $1.5-million restricted funds transfer from the Equine Drug Research Council (EDRC) to the University of Kentucky (UK) to open a national equine drug testing laboratory. The budget bill also includes a $500,000 allotment from the state's general fund into the budget of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) to hire a safety steward and additional investigators who would be assigned to the state's tracks. A third general fund appropriation would give...

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The 'Societal Evolution' of Stallion Selection

The Week in Review, by T.D. Thornton Although the long-term implication of breeding trends on the soundness of racehorses was not an aspect that got covered in the post-mortem report released last week on Mongolian Groom (Hightail)'s fatal injury in the GI Breeders' Cup Classic, the author of that analysis, Dr. Larry Bramlage, did address the topic in a Jan. 16 media teleconference that followed up on the study he was commissioned to write for the Breeders' Cup. And while the breeding-related remarks by the internationally respected equine orthopedic surgeon...

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Trainers Show Support for Horseracing Integrity Act via Open Letter

Sixteen prominent Thoroughbred trainers have expressed their support for the Horseracing Integrity Act via an open letter "to the Thoroughbred Community" sent out Friday. The trainers who signed on are: Tom Albertrani, Christophe Clement, Ben Colebrook, Gary Contessa, Arnaud Delacour, Janet Elliott, Mark Hennig, Kiaran McLaughlin, Shug McGaughey, Ken McPeek, Tom Morley, Graham Motion, Todd Pletcher, John Sadler, George Weaver and Nick Zito. The letter reads: "Horse racing is at a pivotal moment in its long history in the United States. The past six months presented a string of events...

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