Racetracks, Industry Groups Push for Model Drug Rules

Racetracks, Industry Groups Push for Model Drug Rules

More than 50 racetracks and industry organizations have co-signed a letter to regulators urging them to adopt the uniform national model rules on medication and drug-testing reform.

Photo: Photos.com

More than 50 racetracks and industry organizations have co-signed a letter to regulators urging them to adopt the uniform national model rules on medication and drug-testing reform.

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), which sent the letter, said Oct. 3 it specifies "model medication guidelines, inclusion in a multiple violator penalty system, and participation in laboratory accreditation and quality assurance programs." The model rules were adopted by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) and then by the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI).

"Nationwide adoption of these reforms is essential to safeguarding horses and riders and providing uniformity to fans and participants alike," Alex Waldrop, president and chief executive officer of the NTRA and chairman of the RMTC, stated in the letter. "If you have not done so already, we urge you to commit to the reforms and move expeditiously to adopt all aspects of the reforms."

The NTRA said racing commissioners were told to expect "direct contact from industry representatives to determine their commitment to the reforms and timeline for adoption." Several jurisdictions have already adopted the model rules or have pledged to do so by Jan. 1, 2014.

Along with the letter, the NTRA sent 60 pages of exhibits, available online, explaining the rules and any research behind them

The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, which has about 30 affiliates in the U.S. and Canada, has not signed the letter, nor has Churchill Downs Inc.-owned properties.

The United States Trotting Association didn't either, having left the RMTC and having told RCI it doesn't support the model rules. Harness tracks owned by Penn National Gaming Inc., however, did sign the letter, and the RMTC announced Oct. 3 that the Indiana Standardbred Association has signed on as a contributor.

"The campaign to get additional tracks or organizations to sign on is ongoing," said Jim Mulvihill, director of industry and media relations for the NTRA. "If others offer support we will continue to update the list at NTRA.com to further demonstrate the widespread industry support for uniformity."

The list of signatories as of Oct. 3 follows:

  • American Association of Equine Practitioners
  • American Quarter Horse Association
  • Arabian Jockey Club
  • Association of Racing Commissioners International
  • Betfair Hollywood Park
  • Breeders' Cup
  • Del Mar
  • Global Gaming Solutions
  • Lone Star Park
  • Remington Park
  • Keeneland
  • Kentucky Thoroughbred Association
  • Monmouth Park
  • National Thoroughbred Racing Association
  • NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance
  • New York Thoroughbred Breeders
  • Oak Tree Racing Association
  • Penn National Gaming Inc. (which includes Hollywood Casino, Hotel and Raceway; Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races; Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course; Raceway Park; Beulah Park; Rosecroft Raceway; Sam Houston Race Park; Freehold Raceway; and Zia Park Racetrack and Casino)
  • Racing Medication and Testing Consortium
  • Suffolk Downs
  • Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino
  • The Jockey Club
  • The Jockeys' Guild
  • The New York Racing Association (which includes Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Race Course)
  • The Stronach Group (which includes AmTote, HRTV, Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream Park, Laurel Park, Pimlico Race Course, Portland Meadows, Santa Anita Park, and XpressBet.com)
  • Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association ( which includes Delaware THA, Illinois THA, Maryland THA, New Jersey THA, New York THA, and Pennsylvania THA)
  • Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association
  • Thoroughbred Owners of California
  • Thoroughbred Racing Associations

Originally published on BloodHorse.com.

About the Author

Tom LaMarra

Tom LaMarra, a native of New Jersey and graduate of Rutgers University, has been news editor at The Blood-Horse since 1998. After graduation he worked at newspapers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania as an editor and reporter with a focus on municipal government and politics. He also worked at Daily Racing Form and Thoroughbred Times before joining The Blood-Horse. LaMarra, who has lived in Lexington since 1994, has won various writing awards and was recognized with the Old Hilltop Award for outstanding coverage of the horse racing industry. He likes to spend some of his spare time handicapping races.

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