Arlington Park 'Super Testing' Leads to Positives

"Super testing" conducted at Chicago, Ill.-area Thoroughbred race track Arlington Park earlier this year resulted in 26 positives for prednisone-a steroidal anti-inflammatory medication--but found no evidence of other prohibited substances, according to the Illinois Racing Board (IRB).

No horses were disqualified and no purse money was redistributed, IRB executive director Marc Laino said. Fines for the 12 trainers involved ranged from $250 to $6,500, depending on the number of positives and the level of prednisone detected by the "super testing."

The "super testing," instituted as part of an overall Churchill Downs, Inc., safety and integrity initiative, measured substance levels to the nanogram level, or one billionth of a gram. The expanded testing program ended late in June.

The IRB and stewards had no choice other than to issue positive findings and impose fines because there is no minimum threshold for prednisone, Laino said.

"But the stewards, in arriving at penalties, took into account the levels of the substance and aggravating circumstances," he said. "The detected amounts in no way were performance-enhancing."

"The good news," Laino said, "is that no other substances were found in this testing, which would have detected any levels of use."

About the Author

Bob Kieckhefer

Bob Kieckhefer is a correspondent for The Blood-Horse, sister magazine to The Horse.

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