05/20/2014 3:10PM

W.Va. approves medication rules

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The West Virginia Racing Commission on Tuesday approved a set of rules that states across the U.S. are beginning to adopt, but the rules will not likely go into effect until mid-2015, according to the commission’s executive director.

The rules, which set threshold levels for 26 approved medications, will first need to be approved by the West Virginia’s secretary of state and by its legislature, which will not meet again until early 2015.

“In West Virginia, it takes a little bit longer than it should, unfortunately,” said John A. Myers, the commission’s executive director, after a Tuesday meeting of the commission.

West Virginia is one of a handful of states to have approved the new rules, which have drawn the support of most major racing organizations. Supporters are hopeful that most major racing states will have approved the rules by the end of this year.

Mountaineer shortens meet

Also at the racing commission meeting, Mountaineer Park asked the commission to approve a plan to cancel all 11 of its race dates in December and reduce the number of races the track will run in October and November, according to Myers. The track, which was awarded 210 racing dates this year, has struggled to fill races, with field size down approximately one horse per race.

The commission cannot approve the request without first putting out a public notice to the state’s horsemen, tracks, and mutuel clerks on the dates that will be canceled. Myers said the notice will be published by the end of the week, with the three groups having 10 days to file an objection. If there is an objection, the commission will have to hold a hearing on the request, Myers said.

Horsemen were in support of the request at the commission meeting, Myers said.