07/27/2004 11:00PM

Delaware adopts supertest


The Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission has adopted a plan to test for more than 250 prohibited substances under a version of the so-called supertesting program that has been delayed on a national basis.

The commission voted this week to adopt the plan, which will require horses racing in graded stakes and other major races in Delaware to be tested for 255 substances, according to John Wayne, the administrator of racing at the state's racing commission. Under Delaware rules, Delaware Park, the only Thoroughbred track in the state, will pay for the tests.

"Delaware Park management really stepped up to the plate and said, 'Let's do this,' " Wayne said Wednesday. "We thought it was the right thing to do."

The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, through its Graded Stakes Committee, has been attempting to implement a national drug-testing protocol that would test for 120 prohibited substances in all graded stakes. That plan has been delayed because of difficulties in assessing the different needs of states and their testing laboratories.

During the last several months, Delaware has been using supertests under an experimental program, and "all the tests have come back clean," Wayne said.