01/11/2002 12:00AM

Two auctions to limit drugs


LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company will restrict the use of three medications, including clenbuterol, at its juvenile auctions. Following that announcement Friday, Fasig-Tipton - which opens its juvenile season at Calder on Feb. 26 - announced that it, too, would restrict use of clenbuterol at auction.

Beginning this year, OBS and Fasig-Tipton will not allow the bronchial dilator clenbuterol, which some believe can enhance racing performance, to be used in 2-year-olds at auction within 72 hours before each auction's under-tack shows.

OBS's new policy also prohibits any use of furosemide (popularly known as Lasix) and procaine penicillin. Lasix is commonly used to prevent bleeding, while procaine penicillin can be used as a local anesthetic.

"OBS continues to fine-tune its policies for the comfort and confidence of our buyers," said Tom Ventura, general manager of OBS. "By making these adjustments, the guideline for the use of clenbuterol will be consistent with common racing practices."

Boyd Browning, Fasig-Tipton's chief operating officer, said that Fasig-Tipton made its decision for similar reasons, "to promote a higher level of buyer confidence in the 2-year-old market."

Ventura said OBS will continue its policy of conducting random drug testing on about 10 percent of each juvenile auction's entrants. The nation's other major juvenile sales, including Fasig-Tipton, also conduct drug tests.