Updated on 12/10/2012 7:04PM

Aqueduct: New York altering medication rules Dec. 26


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Several new rules regarding the usage and administration of certain medications in New York that were scheduled to be implemented with Wednesday's opening of Aqueduct's inner track have been amended and will now not go into effect until Dec. 26, according to the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.

The racing board has changed the time frame for the administration of clenbuterol, a bronchodilator, from 21 days to 14 days. It previously had been four days.

Further, the racing board has amended the time frame for administration into joints of DepoMedrol, a synthesized adrenal steroid used to reduce inflammation, from 15 days to 7 days.

"Based upon feedback from the Task Force on Racehorse Health and Safety and industry-wide discussion, the Board is amending its rules regarding clenbuterol and DepoMedrol," said Lee Park, a spokesman for the racing and wagering board in an e-mail late Monday afternoon. "The Task Force has asked the Racing and Wagering Board to change its time frame for clenbuterol administration from the original 21 days to 14 days and the time frame for intra-articular administration of DepoMedrol from 15 days to 7 days. This will put New York's rules in line with measures approved by the Association of Racing Commissioners International."

"Additionally, the Board is putting finishing touches on a comprehensive data entry system for trainers and veterinarians to input records of corticosteroid administrations," Park said. "The effective date of these changes, expected to be approved by the Board [on Tuesday], will be Dec. 26, 2012."

The Task Force on Racehorse Health and Safety was formed in the spring by Gov. Andrew Cuomo following the death of 21 horses during Aqueduct's inner track meet.

Its highly detailed report was released in October, and the state racing board rushed to adopt emergency rules to coincide with the opening of the inner track.

In the interim, several racing organizations, including the Association of American Equine Practitioners, the Racing Medication Testing Consortium, and the Jockey Club have met in an attempt to draft national medication guidelines.

John Kimmel, a New York-based trainer and veterinarian, is on the racing committee of the equine practitioners and said Monday morning he was hopeful that a group of national standards would be adopted soon.

"Hopefully, it'll be adopted by as many racing jurisdictions as it can," Kimmel said. "The guidelines for that are a little different than what we have here in New York. I think New York will have to accommodate the national standard in order to sell it to everybody else."

As part of the new rules, trainers must submit records to the racing board of any corticosteroid joint injections given to horses within 48 hours of treatment. In the case of claiming, trainers must provide new owners of a claimed horse 30-day corticosteroid joint injection records within 48 hours of the claim being made.

Until such time as a national policy is adopted, New York's rules will still be more stringent than many of its neighboring states from which it draws horses. It is likely to cut down on shippers for the upcoming inner track meet. Last year, shippers made up 10 percent of the horses who ran at Aqueduct.

"I think you'll lose your shippers just on clenbuterol," said Bruce Levine, a New York-based trainer who started 103 horses at last year's inner track meet. "I think the injecting rule should be seven days and not 15. . . . I don't think injecting a horse seven days out -- doing the hocks or something like that -- is going to make a horse break down."
Mike Trombetta is a Maryland-based trainer who has started 32 horses in New York the last two winters. Since the rules in Maryland and Pennsylvania allow clenbuterol to be given within four days, Trombetta said he will have to be "extremely selective" in what horses he can send to run in New York.

"If Plan A is to run at Laurel and Parx and the race doesn't go, and the racing office there calls and says we have a race for that horse, I'm going to have to decline," Trombetta said. "What is okay practice in most places is now forbidden in New York. I don't understand what the purpose is."

Nathan More than 1 year ago
already backtracking? we don't want the levines' or the dutrows' in racing. period. lie detector tests. they don't use the depo. they inject their own brand of acid into the ankles and knees. can only do it so many times. racing is doomed if nyra gives in to the trainer/vets.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
True. Most folks don't understand injections are beginning of the end to a joint capsule..dry sockets,ossellet, locked joint..broken. Even with legends joint supplements and such...TIME AND CARE
William Caple More than 1 year ago
A nation wide agreement really needs to be put in place in regards to drugging. Have everyone play by the same rules. This will benefit the animals and the sport. derbydeals.com
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Paulick says the new board will air its' meeting on Wed 12/12 at 3pm on www.nyra.com
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Kimmel is right. The trick is getting neighboring states to comply - then you have a region, which would answer Trombettas' question by having same rules in Md, Pa,Del and Va. When real racing resumes in New York in the Spring, the outfits shipping back in from Florida and Kentucky will already know the rules and damn sure will be ready to comply. Make New York the Standard that it once was... best Racing in the World. This plan might be sneaky-good! AND no Feds in the sheds.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Assuming this is all for the best let's remember the Trainer. This person is totally responsible for the care of his/her horse(s). We should appreciate the accepted burden of any new or changed rules. I am sure it is very difficult job to plan entries even prior to theses changes. My question is will we see a change in performance on some horses because of the timing constraints on Clenbuterol? But, anyway, let's thank all the good trainers for his/her hard work. Their job only gets more challenging these days. RD btr
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Clenbuterol is designed to help clear breathing passages of mucous. Also it aides in recovery time. It is NOT meant to be administered to an entire stable as a pre race regiment.
[removed] More than 1 year ago
This comment has been deleted
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
When Van Berg talks, listen. When Van Berg flips, really listen!
jttf More than 1 year ago
even the trainers admit, the stronger the drug, the better for them. that is where they will race their horse. the tests results cant pick up who the cheaters are. so why have any drug limitations ? let everyone cheat. just fine the horse connections a minimum of $100,000 for horse who cant finish a race. when a purse is greater than $100,000, the fine matches the amount of the purse. if a horse finishes more than 30 lengths behind the winner, fine them $10,000. there is no fine if another horse or miscelaneous event caused the injury. track conditions are no excuse. every trainer can walk the track or see if there are other horses being hurt on the track. if you dont like the situation, you can always scratch your horse before the race. what flavor of milkshake do you prefer ?
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
What "trainers" admit stronger the drug to better? That is about the most uninformed, slanderous comment I have seen about drug abuse. And its not always easy to scratch. You enter on dirt you run without a good excuse related to horses' health. Off turf is an easier declaration our of a race.
jttf More than 1 year ago
how uninformed are you ? trainers dont want the bute levels to be lowered. trainers dont want lasix to be eliminated. trainers want less time before the race to inject.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Who???? Lasix promotes HEALTH! AND trainers such as McPeek, Romans, are starting to stable at tracks where bute levels are being lowered.. Also Kiarin, Mott, Shug, Clement, others on board with adjunct Med reforms.. you are making a broad uninformed statement.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Fines do NOT protect Racehorses.
jttf More than 1 year ago
how are you going to tell if a horse has received recent shock wave therapy ? drug tests are a joke. lou pena had over 1700 violations and not one positive test. large fines will make horsemen think twice before putting a horse on the track that has a high risk of fatality.
Randy Preston More than 1 year ago
Wow! I don't know if I understand this! How do you know what caused a horse to throw in a bad race? This not NASCAR. It could be horse related, jockey related, horseshoe related, equipment related, oh and maybe drug related! If only the horse could talk,too bad Mister Ed was slow!
jttf More than 1 year ago
the horsemen hired the jockey. the on track vet can tell if it is horseshoe or equipment related. shouldnt you be fined if it is drug related ? you dont understand very much.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
And if they throw a shoe in race? Or stumble then feel off? YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY NOT A HORSEMAN..
Peter More than 1 year ago
When did the state and gov do anything that benefited anyone but them selfs now there trying to run are races after they stole the casinos!
mikey More than 1 year ago
Wait till the gov run's for pres in 2016.The field will be The Chubb Gov vs the Conrol Freak.Racing in N.Y. in the winter is a joke.I hope not as many horse's break down as did last year.
Mike D More than 1 year ago
Go figure. Aqueduct 6 horse fields in the winter. Haven't we seen this before. Hello Tampa, Gulfstream and Penn National!! Only suckers stay in New York. Trainers get $120/day there. You have to run 2nd in a race just to break even on expenses for the month.
Marc Ferrell More than 1 year ago
Mike D: I work with several trainers in NY and none of them has exceeded $90/day so your figure is not correct. Baffet in CA is $100/day and I do not know what Pletcher is but do not think it is $120 per day.
M D More than 1 year ago
Mott $100 pletcher $120 mclaughlin $120. I would agree next tier trainers are $100. Vet bills are outrageous too.
mrm More than 1 year ago
You can get a top trainer in NY for $95.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
When hay is $20.00 a bale for alfalfa. Grain $12.00 a bag...these bulk prices.. blacksmiths $120.00. Grooms $300-500 a week depending on number of horses in their care. Hot walkers. Good exercise rider $600. Assistant $800. Linamints for legs. Straw bedding daily..ALL THIS EXPENSE WEEKLY!! Trainers not getting rich off day rates.. They/we have to get results. Never mind owners vet bills...Most I have seen is $100.. in last ten yrs. Rumored Lukas got more in past. Now too many so called trainers cutting their own throats to get horses.
mrm More than 1 year ago
One thing is for sure. Owners are not getting rich off of anything related to horses. At one time, excluding vet and blacksmith, the day rate was all inclusive. Now there are many miscellaneous charges for supplements etc. I'm not sure about the rest of the country but in NY the blacksmith charge is $165+. Let's not even get into the absurd amount of charges that are deducted from the purse if you are lucky enough to win a race.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Its smarter to train off a training center where you're not at the mercy of a couple price gouging maniacs. And I can see charging for an individual horses supplementary needs..but not salt, electrolytes, iron supplements, and calf manna.
mikey More than 1 year ago
Just another case where the rule's are not the same at all track's.How will the game get new player's with no uniform rule's.Every state plays the game the way they want.They need to get their act together and have the same betting and med law's.With uncoupled horse's and horse's running for purse only no one new would believe it.How can a horse run for purse only and still not have an outcome on it.WAKE UP BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE.