04/06/2005 12:00AM

Vet cautions on supplements

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Racing officials cautioned trainers at Keeneland Racecourse on Wednesday not to give horses substances on race day that could contain alkalizing agents. The track will begin its first testing program for the agents on Friday, the meet's opening day.

Dr. Rick Sams, director of the Ohio State University Equine Drug Testing laboratory, which will conduct the testing on behalf of Keeneland, told a group of about 30 horsemen at the meeting that several commercially available feed supplements contain alkalizing agents, and that combinations of supplements given on race day could result in a positive test.

Sams also said, however, that a positive test was highly unlikely unless a trainer deliberately administered a large amount of alkalizing agents to a horse on race day.

Alkalizing agents, which are illegal to use on race day in every North American racing jurisdiction, block the buildup of lactic acid in muscles, delaying the onset of fatigue.