10/10/2006 12:00AM

Kentucky 'test stable' gets funds


The Kentucky Equine Drug Council on Monday agreed to provide $1.5 million in funding over three years to a project that will keep at least 20 Thoroughbreds in training in the state for the purposes of conducting drug-testing research.

The council approved the project after being approached by officials of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, a national group, about using the council's funds to determine withdrawal times of therapeutic drugs in horses.

Dan Fick, chairman of the medication consortium, said that the establishment of a "test stable" of horses in Kentucky would allow researchers to determine better when it is safe to administer a therapeutic drug to a horse to avoid a postrace positive test. Current research typically uses non-racing-breed horses who are exercised on treadmills in laboratories instead of in a racetrack setting.

Details of which horses will be used, who will train them, and where they will be based have not yet been determined, Fick said.