10/17/2014 3:08PM

NYRA pushes for uniform medication rules


The New York Racing Association has submitted a letter to state regulators in support of a long-delayed set of rules that would align New York’s medication regulations with many other states on the Eastern seaboard.

NYRA’s pledge of support comes about halfway through a 60-day public-comment period on the rules, which would allow for the use of 24 therapeutic medications by establishing threshold levels for the drugs. In substantially similar form, the same rules have already been adopted in Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, and Massachusetts.

“The adoption of these regulations … is a major step forward in the ongoing efforts of Thoroughbred racing regulators in many states and other participants to adopt uniformly stringent and effective equine medication rules across the country,” wrote Chris Kay, the chief executive of NYRA, in the letter, according to a copy provided by the association.

After the public-comment period expires in mid-November, the New York State Gaming Commission will consider any recommendations in the comments before voting to revise or approve the rules. If the process does not encounter any hurdles, the rules could be in place by the end of 2014.

The rules were first discussed by the New York State Gaming Commission last year, and by the end of 2013, the gambling commission had published a version of the rules for public comment. However, the rules were revised after some racing constituents, most notably Standardbred owners and trainers, objected to some elements of the rules. The revised rules had been held up in a state department before finally being posted for public comment again Sept. 17.