03/27/2013 1:43PM

Feed from Purina plant banned from California tracks

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ARCADIA, Calif. – The California Horse Racing Board has instructed feed vendors to remove sweet feed products made by Purina Mills at its Turlock, Calif., facility from the backstretches of California racetracks after five brands of the company’s products resulted in 48 positive tests for the banned medication zilpaterol.

The racing board issued its decision in a directive published on Wednesday based on a rule that vendors are not permitted to “sell or deliver” any horse feed “containing any prohibited drug.” The racing board said the products must be removed “until such a time as Purina can assure the CHRB those products do not contain” zilpaterol.

The racing board issued a statement on Tuesday stating that 48 positives had been reported through March 17. There were 38 positives from the harness meeting at Sacramento, 5 at Golden Gate Fields, 3 at Santa Anita and 2 at Los Alamitos. The racing board did not name the horses or trainers involved, citing state law.

The racing board has agreed to dismiss the 48 cases of zilpaterol positives, all of which were found since March 1. Zilpaterol, listed as a Class 3 medication, is a feed supplement that promotes muscle gain in livestock.

The racing board has advised trainers with unopened bags of those feeds to contact racing board investigators. The product labels on the feed bags designate when and where the feed was produced. The racing board cited as an example a code that began 3FEB14TRL, which indicated the date of production and that Turlock (TRL) was the originating plant.