12/13/2005 12:00AM

Texas adopts alkalizing rule

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The Texas Racing Commission on Tuesday adopted a rule providing for the testing of alkalizing agents, scheduled to take effect in January, when the rule is published in the Texas Register as required by Texas law.

Under the new rule, a horse who tests at more than 38 millimoles of carbon dioxide per liter of plasma would exceed the permitted level. The standard is similar to ones in New York and California, where a horse with more than 37 millimoles of carbon dioxide per liter of plasma exceeds the permitted level.

Alkalizing agents, which produce carbon dioxide, are believed to help ward off fatigue.

The penalty guidelines are a $1,000 fine and a 30-day suspension on first offense, a $2,500 fine and 90-day suspension on the second, and a $5,000 fine and one-year suspension on the third. All penalties include loss of purse money.

Testing can be random and held before or after a race.

In other business, the commission approved the addition of four race dates to Retama Park's annual fall meet for Thoroughbreds.