02/13/2013 6:11PM

Kentucky Horse Racing Commission funds study to develop regulatory parameters for isoflupredone


The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on Wednesday approved the funding of a study designed to determine the regulatory parameters for a corticosteroid that officials say is increasingly being administered to Thoroughbred horses.

The study, which will be conducted by HFL Sports Science, a drug-testing laboratory in Lexington used by the commission, will analyze urine and blood samples from horses treated with the drug, isoflupredone, to determine the rate at which the drug is metabolized based on standard doses. The analysis will likely yield information that regulators can use to determine threshold levels and withdrawal times for the drug, according to Dr. Mary Scollay, the commission’s equine medical director.

Isoflupredone, like all corticosteroids, is an anti-inflammatory used to treat soreness in joints. Corticosteroids are commonly used in Thoroughbred racing, and their administration is typically restricted to outside two to five days of a race, depending on the drug.

The funding of the study continues a trend in which the Kentucky racing commission, through its Equine Drug Research Council, conducts research designed to benefit the racing industry as a whole. The samples for the study are being provided by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, a national medication policy group funded by a wide cross-section of the industry, and the results of the research will likely be used to craft a recommendation that will be distributed to all racing jurisdictions.

Isoflupredone is not currently included in a tentative list of approximately two dozen medications that national regulatory bodies have identified as allowable therapeutic medications. Scollay said that a committee examining corticosteroid use recently began to discuss whether to add the drug to the list because of its widening use by veterinarians.