01/08/2010 12:00AM

N.Y. court delays new testing policy


Standardbred interests in New York have won a temporary restraining order against the New York State Racing and Wagering Board that will prevent the board from implementing a new out-of-competition testing program until a judge can hear arguments for and against the new policy.

The temporary restraining order was issued on Thursday by the New York State Supreme Court after the Standardbred Owners Association of New York filed a petition to block the program, which would have authorized the board to conduct unannounced testing of Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds prior to races. The rule would have also authorized the board to compel trainers within 100 miles of a New York track to present their horses to board veterinarians for testing even if the trainers were located outside of the state.

Joe Faraldo, the president of the Standardbred association, said that horsemen support out-of-competition testing but that the new rules "provide no safeguards to prevent innocent trainers, owners, and farm owners from being subjected to arbitrary targeting."

A hearing will likely be held in the next several weeks to determine if the program can be implemented.

Rick Violette, the president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, said that his organization may join in the Standardbred association's opposition to the rule. Late last year, just prior to the rule being implemented, Violette and other horsemen's representatives had criticized the rule for straying from a model rule that has been approved by other racing jurisdictions. Violette also criticized what he said were several "arbitrary" elements of the rules, including the 100-mile radius provision.