More Allegations of Damaged Samples in Medina Spirit Testing

An attempt by the connections of Medina Spirit (Protonico) to have a third-party lab perform a new series of tests on the colt's bodily fluids in the wake of the colt's GI Kentucky Derby betamethasone positive has resulted in allegations by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) of a "lack of candor and contemptuous conduct by the New York Laboratory, [trainer Bob Baffert and owner Zedan Racing Stables], or both." According to a status report and motion for order filed in Kentucky's Franklin Circuit Court July 19, the KHRC wants...

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Judge Gives Go-Ahead for Additional Testing of Medina Spirit Sample

Judge Thomas Wingate outlined the travel protocol to a New York lab Wednesday for the urine sample collected from Medina Spirit (Protonico) following his Kentucky Derby win last month, reported the Blood-Horse Wednesday. The Circuit Court Judge, who granted Amr Zedan's Zedan Racing and Bob Baffert the right to conduct further testing on the split sample, issued a temporary injunction Wednesday, outlining the flight plans, which will be funded by the plaintiffs. The judge, who stated that the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission retain five milliliters of the sample, ordered at...

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Team Medina Spirit Goes to Court to Force Alternate Urine Testing

The connections of GI Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit (Protonic) have filed a civil complaint against the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) in an effort to force the agency to turn over the colt's post-race urine sample so it can be tested in a way that trainer Bob Baffert and owner Zedan Racing Stables, Inc., believe will prove that a betamethasone finding resulted from an ointment to treat a skin condition (Otomax) and not from an intra-articular injection. According to a June 7 filing in Kentucky's Franklin County Circuit Court...

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Under Glare of Probing Questions, Curious Answers in Kentucky

The Week in Review by T.D. Thornton In theory, state racing commissions are supposed to provide a layer of checks and balances by making both racetrack operators and horsemen accountable for their actions. In practice though, that often doesn't happen because regulators in many jurisdictions fail to ask probing questions of licensees during open, public meetings. In Kentucky, for example, if you want the most concise on-the-record snapshot of what's going on with the circuit, the best source generally isn't a Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) meeting. Instead, the proceedings...

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Stud Farms Sue Over 140-Mare Cap, Allege 'Blatant Abuse of Power' by The Jockey Club

Spendthrift Farm, Ashford Stud and Three Chimneys Farm are suing The Jockey Club in federal court over the "stallion cap" rule that went into effect in 2020, alleging that the 140-mare breeding limit now being phased in amounts to a "blatant abuse of power" that acts as an "anti-competitive restraint" and threatens to disrupt the free-market nature of the bloodstock business. The plaintiffs contend that the stallion cap "serves no legitimate purpose and has no scientific basis" while alleging that the nine stewards of The Jockey Club who voted to...

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KHRC Awards $14.3 Million to Kentucky Breeders for 2020

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has awarded $14.3 million to qualified breeders through the Thoroughbred Breeders' Incentive Fund for Kentucky Thoroughbreds' wins in 2020. The incentive fund requires owners to board mares in Kentucky from the time of breeding until the birth of the foal. Incentive payments are based on the foal's eventual winnings on the racetrack. Last year, nearly 3,500 races were won by a Kentucky-bred receiving a breeder award. Kentucky-breds won over 245 graded stakes in the United States and 18 group races in Canada, England, France and...

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Joe Sharp Handed 30-Day Suspension, Will Appeal

Trainer Joe Sharp has been hit with a 30-day suspension and fined $2,500 by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) after five horses he trained tested positive for the medication levamisole during a 16-day period at Churchill Downs in November, 2019. Sharp has said that the levamisole was found in an over-the-counter dewormer he purchased and used to treat his horses. He said he consulted with veterinarians before using the product and was told that it complied with pertinent racing and medication regulations. In addition to the Kentucky positives, eight...

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Kentucky Advances Clenbuterol Regulations; Turfway Switches Weekly Race Days

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) advanced a proposal Dec. 8 that will create a set of new regulations designed to curb clenbuterol's off-label abuse as a lean muscle mass builder. The move is part of a trend this year among North American racing jurisdictions aiming to eliminate clenbuterol's misuse as a performance enhancer while putting in place restrictions that will still allow the drug to be prescribed for its intended purpose as a bronchodilator to treat airway disease. The new Kentucky rules on clenbuterol will require 1) A specific...

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NY Times Names Gamine As Oaks-Day Positive; Robertson Expresses Concern

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) is conducting a follow-up investigation of a class C medication positive detected in a sample returned from Kentucky Oaks day, according to a KHRC statement Thursday. Joe Drape of The New York Times reported in a story published at 6:43 p.m. that it was the Kentucky Oaks third-place finisher Gamine who returned the positive test, citing "two people familiar with the results of the drug test who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issue publicly." "The Derby day samples were...

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HHR Fate Still 'Elephant in the Room' As KHRC Grants '21 Race Dates

Saying he'd "like to briefly address the elephant in the room," Kentucky Horse Racing Commission chairman Jonathan Rabinowitz opened the board's Oct. 20 videoconference meeting by attempting to reassure the racing community that elected and appointed officials are working to find a solution to a Sept. 24 Supreme Court of Kentucky opinion that told a lower court to re-examine the legality of historical horse race (HHR) gaming. HHR handled $2.2 billion during the commonwealth's most recent fiscal year, and revenue from that form of gaming annually contributes tens of millions...

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Kentucky to Consider Whip Penalty Changes

The penalty structure for the new slate of restrictive whipping regulations passed by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) back on June 16 appears to be on its way to an overhaul after the KHRC Rules Committee unanimously voted Sept. 29 to present a "days instead of dollars" system to the full board for reconsideration. In essence, a series of escalating disciplinary actions will replace the suspension-plus-fine system that was originally based on a percentage of the purse being taken away from  riders who violate the "six underhanded strikes per...

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Letter to the Editor: Jerry Brown's Opening Statement in KHRC Lasix Hearing

Editor's Note: Tuesday, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission will hold a hearing before the Joint Committee on Licensing, Occupations, regarding the proposed amended regulation which would partially ban the use of Lasix at Kentucky tracks. The proposed ban would include all 2-year-old horses racing in Kentucky this year and be extended to stakes races in 2021, and is being advanced by a national coalition of racetracks and other racing organizations that includes all of Kentucky's racetrack operators. On June 1, Franklin (Ky) Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate denied a motion...

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