02/08/2005 1:00AM

Ky. panel to discuss milkshakes

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The Kentucky Equine Drug Council will discuss the possibility of implementing tests at state racetracks for the banned performance-enhancing substances known as milkshakes at a meeting scheduled for Feb. 17, Jim Gallagher, the executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority, said Tuesday.

The council, which recommends medication and testing policies to the authority for adoption, is expected to discuss whether to recommend postrace or prerace testing for milkshakes, which are mixtures of sodium bicarbonate, sugar, electrolytes, and other substances that are typically pumped into a horse's stomach.

Milkshakes are banned in Kentucky, as in every other racing jurisdiction, but the state does not have any tests in place to detect an administration.

Racing officials are split on whether it is more effective to test before or after a race. Testing before a race is more expensive, but allows regulators to scratch horses whose tests indicate excessive levels of total carbon dioxide.