09/17/2003 11:00PM

New York acts to formalize uncoupling

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The New York State Racing and Wagering Board approved a draft rule on Thursday that would formally approve the uncoupling of entries from the same trainer in a stakes race, a practice that has been in place at New York tracks since 1995.

The draft rule that was approved would allow for uncoupling in any race run under stakes conditions. Any horses who share ownership interests would continue to be coupled in all races, however.

In 1995, the board passed a directive allowing for uncoupled entries by trainers in nearly all types of races. The directive was limited to stakes races later that year, but was never adopted formally into the rule book.

The draft rule has been submitted to the state register. Once it is published, a 45-day public comment period must pass before the rule can be made official, according to a board spokeswoman, Stacy Clifford.