12/09/2009 12:00AM

Breeders' Cup to weigh new drug ban


TUCSON, Ariz. - The board of directors of the Breeders' Cup will consider a proposal on Friday that would ban trainers who have been penalized for a Class 1 or Class 2 drug positive within the previous 12 months, a Breeders' Cup official confirmed on Wednesday.

If passed, the rule would be in effect for the 2010 event at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. According to Jim Gluckson, a spokesman for the organization, the ban would apply to any trainer with a Class 1 or Class 2 positive in the year before the race being run, and it would also apply to trainers who have appealed the ruling.

Class 1 and Class 2 medications are the most powerful medications in racing. Class 1 medications are typically defined as those drugs that have no purpose in racehorses but to affect performance. Class 2 medications have some therapeutic value but also a high potential to affect a horse's performance.

Two high-profile trainers, Kiaran McLaughlin and Tom Albertrani, both based in New York, recently accepted 30-day penalties from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission for separate positive tests without appealing. The ban proposed by the Breeders' Cup, however, would not apply to either trainer because the drugs involved are Class 3 medications, according to the organization that classifies medications, the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

The Breeders' Cup has passed several rules over the past three years in an effort to address public-perception concerns about the use of drugs in racing. For the 2007 event at Monmouth Park, the Breeders' Cup required all horses to submit to prerace tests for alkalizing agents, for example, and also significantly increased the number of tests administered to postrace samples.

In 2008, Breeders' Cup passed a rule that would result in a ban for any trainer whose horse failed postrace tests designed to detect non-therapeutic administrations of anabolic steroids, and it has also recently collected urine and blood samples from horses pre-entered in its 14 races in an effort to deter the administration of illegal substances while training up to the stakes races.