05/15/2002 12:00AM

Owners fault Kentucky drug policy

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A second Kentucky-based horsemen's group has entered a widening dispute over Kentucky's current medication policies.

The Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, which represents central Kentucky owners and breeders, released an open letter on Wednesday to "publicly state our dissatisfaction with Kentucky's current medication rules." The letter was signed by 29 directors of the KTA and 20 other owners and breeders who said they endorsed the KTA's position, including Ogden Mills Phipps, Stuart Janney III, Frank Stronach, Gary Biszantz, and Seth Hancock.

The letter also said the group disagreed with the results of a recent survey conducted by the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. That survey said that more than 90 percent of the respondents agreed with the state's medication policy, which is considered the most permissive in the country.

The KTA released its open letter two weeks after the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association made similar remarks in a letter to its membership.

Kentucky's medication rules have been in the spotlight for six months because of a movement among many industry groups to create a set of uniform medication rules that could be adopted in all states. The Kentucky HBPA has refused the endorse the national medication effort unless Kentucky's permissive rules are used as the model.