03/20/2006 1:00AM

Kentucky alters bet rule


The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority on Monday approved proposals by Churchill Downs and Keeneland Racecourse to disregard, for the purposes of pick three and pick four wagers, the results of any race that is moved off the turf.

Under the new Kentucky rule, any pick three or pick four ticket that includes a race with a late surface change will be treated as if the bettor selected the winner, regardless of the outcome.

Also for the Keeneland meet, which starts April 7, the authority approved a rule that will allow a horse shipping in from Europe to be exempt, for one race, from a state requirement that horses must have lip tattoos inspected before entering a race. European breed registries are increasingly relying on embedded computer chips for identification, and some horses are no longer receiving lip tattoos.

Also on Monday:

* The authority approved a proposal from Keeneland that will allow the track's stewards to determine in which races to apply so-called super-testing, a comprehensive postrace drug test that looks for up to 120 different substances. Keeneland had been paying for super-tests for all of its races in 2005, but Keeneland officials asked to be allowed to limit the tests because of the costs of the program.

* The authority passed a measure assessing a $30 fee on any breeder who registers a foal for the new Kentucky Thoroughbred Breeding Incentive Fund within 45 days of the mare being covered by a stallion. The cost will rise to $60 per registration if the report is provided later than the 45-day deadline but before Sept. 1.