01/21/2005 12:00AM

Gulfstream to test for milkshakes


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Following the lead of several other tracks around the country, Gulfstream Park will begin prerace testing for milkshakes on Jan. 27. The testing will be done under house rules and not in conjunction with the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, which regulates racing in the state.

Gulfstream will test all horses in any Grade 1 or Grade 2 race run the remainder of the 2005 meet, as well as all horses in up to three randomly selected races per day. The prerace tests will be administered in a special stall set up in the receiving barn.

Gulfstream's general manager, Scott Savin, said that the testing program came about through the combined efforts of Gulfstream Park and the Florida division of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.

"And it's all about conducting racing here on a level playing field," said Savin.

Savin said the blood samples will initially be sent to two separate labs. Results will be available 48 to 72 hours after the tests are taken.

"We don't anticipate any problems or delays in our post times with drawing the blood samples," said Savin. Most of the horses who run here are shippers, Savin said, and are "already in the receiving barn, and thus it's only a matter of bringing over the few runners in each race that are stabled here on the grounds."

Savin said penalties for positive tests will almost mirror those now in effect in Southern California, and that the names of any trainer or horses testing positive will not be released to the public.

"The first offense will result in any horses from a barn testing positive to be sent to a detention barn and kept under surveillance by noon the day before they race for a period of 30 days," Savin said. "A second offense will mean no horses from that barn will be allowed to run at the meet for 15 days. A third positive will result in expulsion from the grounds and the refusal of all entries from that barn for the remainder of the 2005 meet."