11/15/2011 4:44PM

Louisiana Racing Commission lowers two drug thresholds; Fair Grounds to offer a jackpot pick five


The Louisiana Racing Commission has lowered the permitted threshold levels for the anti-inflammatory drugs Flunixin and Phenylbutazone in graded stakes in a policy that will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2012. The action was taken at a Monday commission meeting brings Louisiana into compliance with the graded-stakes accreditation requirements set by TOBA.

Flunixin’s threshold in graded races has been reduced from 50 nanograms per milliliter to 20, according to commission officials. The thresholds for Phenylbutazone have dropped from 5 micrograms per milliliter to 2.

The commission on Monday also approved a new pick-five wager that will be introduced at the Fair Grounds meet that opens on Thanksgiving, Nov. 24. The New Orleans track requested approval for the bet that it plans to call the “Black Gold 5.” It requires bettors to pick the winners of five consecutive races. If there is one winning ticket, the entire pool will be distributed. If not, 50 percent of the pool will carry over to the next racing program and the remaining 50 percent willbe distributed as a consolation payoff.

Fair Grounds will have a 50-cent minimum on the bet that will begin each day on Race 5. The track will guarantee a $5,000 pool on opening day, as well as each day after the bet is hit, according to a release issued by Fair Grounds.

The commission on Monday also lifted its limit of two daily doubles per race card in Louisiana, clearing the way for Fair Grounds to introduce rolling daily doubles at its upcoming meet. The track plans to offer a daily double starting on every race but the last. The bet will have a $1 minimum.

In other business, the commission tweaked the requirements concerning negative-test paperwork for Equine Piroplasmosis, the tick-borne disease that has two strains. In the past, negative tests for both strains were required, but effective immediately horses will only have to show proof of a negative test for the Theileria-equi strain.