05/27/2010 11:00PM

Rule changes aid Sunland

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Sunland Park is eligible for full accreditation by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance after the New Mexico Racing Commission recently approved several rule changes that were advocated by the track. Sunland, which has provisional accreditation, must now pass an independent security assessment later this year prior to receiving full accreditation. The track traditionally opens in December.

The commission amended or passed a number of rules. Among the items addressed were testing and penalties for alkalizing agents and new policies for the timing of Lasix administration. Changes are expected to go into effect by mid-June.

In a separate matter, the commission suspended and fined 15 jockeys for their role in an April 24 incident at Sun Ray Park in which the track had to cancel the card after the jockeys failed to ride in a dispute over mount fees.

Of the suspended riders, who can appeal, 14 received a one-day suspension and a $400 fine, while Jimmy Coates Jr. was handed a 15-day suspension and a fine of $1,500. There were seven other riders who were not present in pending cases, while 11 other riders had their cases dismissed by the commission.