04/24/2005 11:00PM

Churchill details new tests

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Churchill Downs announced details Monday of its tests for illegal alkalizing agents, which will be conducted on every horse entered in its races during the spring meet starting Saturday, including the Kentucky Derby and Oaks.

The tests, which are designed to detect excessive levels of carbon dioxide in the blood, will be run on blood samples drawn from horses at a specific Churchill barn 45 minutes prior to a race, although horses entered in the Derby or Oaks will have blood drawn at their stalls.

Churchill's testing is being adopted as a house rule while state regulators adopt a formal rule.

Under the rule, any trainer whose horse tests positive for the agents will be required to send his or her horses to a detention barn 24 hours prior to racing for a period of 30 days. For a second offense, the trainer will be barred from entering a horse at Churchill for 30 days. For a third offense, the trainer will be barred from the grounds of Churchill Downs for one year and will be prohibited from entering any horse at any of Churchill's seven racetracks for six months.