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The Association of Racing Commissioners International is host a webinar Tuesday afternoon, February 23 titled Roundtable: "It's Not Just Racing Anymore: the evolving functions of racing regulatory agencies. The webinar takes place at  2:00pm Eastern. Many jurisdictions are finding that the implementation of new laws dramatically affect the traditional role of the agency. In some cases responsibilities will shift elsewhere while in others they are expanded. The overall role of many member agencies is evolving. This discussion will explore what has happened and what will and may happen. Change is often good, but challenging. This session will explore this subject and hopefully identify areas of opportunity as well as potential pitfalls. (Suitable for: Commissioners, Executive Directors, Senior Management. Open to the industry and press.) CLICK TO REGISTER FOR "IT'S NOT JUST RACING ANYMORE"   From Ed Martin, for ARCI  

Columbus, OH - In a presentation made by Dr. Clara Fenger at the Association of Racing Commissioners International Model Rules Committee Meeting in New Orleans, La., on Thursday (Dec. 3), she described some unexpectedly high serum concentration levels found in experimental horses that were demonstrated to be caused by environmental contamination in the study she submitted as part of her proposal. As a result, Dr. Fenger, on behalf of the North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians, who is the sponsor of the proposal, called for "alternative penalties for drug positives that are likely to result from environmental contamination and unlikely to have a relevant effect on the animal. Among the biggest environmental substance offenders are dexamethasone and betamethasone." The U.S. Trotting Association, based upon the recommendation of the Harness Racing Medication Consortium and the National Horsemen's Benevolent & Protective Association, are in support of this proposal. The usage of Dexamethasone (DXM) done in Dr. Fenger's research utilized 20 mg administered at 48 and 72 hours out, where measurements were made and studied. From that it appears there is the likelihood of a positive test at a risk of 1 out of 50 from resultant environmental contamination and even more significantly at levels in and of themselves having no pharmacological effect at the current penalty level of 5 pg/mL. The recommended solution stems from the problem that the current post-race threshold level is set too low at 5 pg/mL of DXM. At this current threshold level, there have been studies by Dr. Soma and others that have found this unexplained high risk of what could be labeled a false positives. The research demonstrated these false DXM positives even where the administration was extended out to 96 hours. The current rules at this 5 pg/mL level mandate a disqualification, loss of purse and a $10,000 fine. As a result of this research, Dr. Fenger recommends that the threshold of 5 pg/mL, but no more than 100 pg/mL at 72-hour withdrawal, should trigger a different penalty schedule due to the lack of any pharmacological effect. Under this proposal, if anywhere from 5 pg/mL up to a 100 pg/mL level is detected in a sample, that a penalty be imposed that would not constitute a drug violation or result in a disqualification, loss of purse and the $10,000 fine. By this recommendation, in those situations for a first offense between 5 pg/mL but less than 100 pg/mL there would be a warning; the second violation would generate a small fine and the third a fine of 10 percent of the advertised purse. For example, under this proposal a penalty for a third DXM positive of less than 100 pg/mL in a race with a $1 million purse would result in the reduction of the winner's share by $100,000. For any result above the 100pg/mL level, the resultant penalty would remain the same as it currently exists at the 5 pg/mL level, which is a drug violation, disqualification, loss of the total purse and a $10,000 fine. The proposal was referred to the ARCI's Drug Testing Standards and Practices Committee for review and recommendation. To read Dr. Fenger's complete proposal, click here (see Agenda Item #5 on p. 28). To view the summary of Dr. Fenger's study, click here. To read Dr. Fenger's complete study, click here. Adequately establishing contamination risk in drug products from the USTA Communications Department

The North American Harness Horse Alliance (NAHHA) is an alliance of associations from across North America that have been established to represent the interests of participants involved in the breeding, training, and racing of Standardbred horses. Honest, hardworking, and reputable North American Harness Horsemen are unhappy with the status quo. They want a level playing field and want to take care of their equine partners appropriately as directed and managed by their veterinarian. That care requires therapeutic medications that are beneficial to their equine partners, that protect their health, and ensure longevity. Throughout the years the Jockey Club backed Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) and Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) have spent time and money eliminating and criminalizing beneficial therapeutic medications that are not detrimental to equine athletes. These tactics have been aided by misleading terminology talking about “drugging” or “positive tests” and painting a false picture of widescale abuse. Accredited labs have honed testing capabilities down to nanograms and picograms, the rough equivalent of finding a grain of sand in an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Significantly more often these “positive tests” are therapeutic overages, endogenous substances (naturally occur in a horse), or environmental contaminates in a barely calculatable quantity that cast a shadow of doubt and accusation. The reality is a grain of sand in a 1,000 pound racehorse does not induce a performance enhancing effect. As that has occurred, the nefarious among the horseman’s population have been pushed further into the illegal, black market to serious and significant substances and methods that are not only illegal, but unfortunately also highly detrimental to our equine partners. The nefarious minority have taken up and consumed 95% of the time and money of regulators and others to the detriment of the honest, hardworking, and reputable North American Harness Horsemen that do play by the rules for the sake of our equine partners. Every industry has this sort of framework, it is not unique to racing. There are always those that cannot fly straight no matter the industry. Robert Rubin ex-Chairman at Goldman Sachs, Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling of Enron fame, Richard Scrushy ex-CEO of Health South, Dennis Kozlowski, ex-CEO of Tyco, and in a slightly different vein, Harvey Weinstein. The United States Trotting Association (USTA) has pursued a tireless and costly crusade to differentiate the standardbred racehorse from a thoroughbred racehorse. Standardbreds have a distinct gait, racing style, breed characteristics, and longevity. Initially a Member of ARCI, the USTA pursued an agenda to separate and distinguish standardbreds and harness racing, but by 2013 after a million-dollar investment, they pulled out of By 2015, the USTA put together distinguished scientists, regulatory pharmacologists, professors and practicing veterinarians to form the Harness Racing Medication Committee. By the end of 2018, the USTA’s scientific team had published research showing that the RMTC threshold levels for clenbuterol and betamethasone (therapeutics) were not based upon science or manufacturer’s recommendation, but rather arbitrary policy. The USTA presented their HRMC standardbred specific research to the RMTC, requesting harness racing specific regulation. The USTA was given an audience, but the RMTC acting as the ARCI’s decision maker, rejected all facts, science, and separate treatment. A continuation of the narrative and treatment that occurred while spending millions as an RMTC/ARCI Member with a seat at the table. The RMTC/ARCI thoroughbred initiatives were not up for discussion or modification. Harness racing as a business and completely different breed, would be forced to conform to the thoroughbred standards, protocols, and model rules. Since 2015 through several different precursor Bills to HISA, the USTA has lobbied countless hours in Washington D.C. seeking separate and distinct federal regulation for standardbred racehorses and harness racing. As with the RMTC/ARCI model rules prior, the thoroughbred backed legislation was not up for discussion or modification to accommodate harness racing. Harness racing as a business and completely different breed would be forced to conform to thoroughbred standards, protocols, and now federal regulation. The National Horseman’s Benevolent and Protective Association (31,000 members), AQHA (221,000 members), the National Association of Racetrack Veterinarians, and others oppose HISA. The USTA has been the most active and aggressive in defense of our industry spending $450,000 with Gibson Dunn, the firm that successfully overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), resulting in sports wagering legalization by states nationwide. The Horseracing Safety and Integrity Act Opposition HISA establishes the Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority (“Authority”) an independent, private non-profit corporation granted civil enforcement powers only with responsibility for developing and administering an anti-doping and medication control and safety program for (1) Thoroughbred, Quarter, and Standardbred horses that participate in horse races; and (2) the personnel engaged in the care, training, or racing of such horses. The entire HISA regulatory body lacks horse knowledge or experience on a more than 2-1 ratio. The Nominating Committee, Authority Board, Antidoping and Control Committee, and Racetrack Safety Committee are made up of 30 Members. 21 of those Members cannot be anyone with a connection to horses or a connection to horses through a commercial or familial relationship. The remaining 9 Members have equine knowledge, but no more than one of them can come from any individual equine discipline. Standardbred racing will be fortunate to have 1 seat on a 30 Member Authority. Within 48 hours after passage from the effective date, everyone is a Covered person and is required to register. There is no opt-out and includes trainer, owner, breeder, jockey, racetrack, veterinarian, and “person (whether legal and natural) licensed by a racing commission”, and their agents, assigns, employees, and other horse support personnel. Within 48 hours after passage from the effective date, any Covered person must provide any items requested by the Authority for the purpose of increased racehorse welfare. Within 48 hours after passage from the effective date, HISA applies to all horses that have had their first timed and reported work at a training center or racetrack until the Authority is officially notified of the horse being retired. Within 48 hours after passage from the effective date, horses must be raced free from the influence of medications, other foreign substances, and methods. This includes Lasix. There is no regard for therapeutic care. Within 48 hours after passage from the effective date, veterinarians are required to treat horses with “the minimum necessary to address the diagnosed health concerns identified during the examination and diagnostic process”. Within 48 hours after passage from the effective date, veterinarians are to ignore their professional training, manufacturer’s instructions and recommended dosage for effective treatment. Within 48 hours after passage from the effective date, treatment or administration of any substance or method by a veterinarian is required to be reported to the Authority. Within 48 hours after passage from the effective date, HISA expands medication and testing violations to include medications, other substances, or methods that affect performance. Within 48 hours after passage from the effective date, there is no burden on the regulator to prove performance enhancement and an unfair advantage to the detriment of the public wagering on that race. A trainer is absolutely liable with no defense for any impact or change in a horse’s performance, good, bad, or indifferent. Within 48 hours after passage from the effective date, medication, testing, and enforcement rules will come from the strictest among the, (1) International Federation of Horseracing Authorities screening limits for urine May 2019, (2) International Federation of Horseracing Authorities International screening limits for plasma May 2019, or (3) World Anti-doping Agency International Standards for Labs from 11/12/2019, or (4) ARCI Model Rules v.9.2 or ARCI Penalty Model Rules of Racing v.6.2. Within 48 hours after passage from the effective date, HISA permits In Competition and Out of Competition Testing without any advance notice. Within 48 hours after passage from the effective date, HISA implements the exact same mechanism in place now in any State for enforcement, civil charges, civil investigation, civil subpoena powers with civil sanctions as a penalty. Penalty provisions provide for participant suspensions (up to a lifetime), purse payback, monetary fines, and finish placing disqualifications. HISA does not include federal enforcement of any type. No criminal investigation techniques (i.e., prospective wiretaps), criminal penalties, or criminal sanctions like jail time. No Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Agency, or Food and Drug Administration involvement. The FTC will exercise enforcement for horses sold, if the horse was administered bisphosphate before turning four years old or the horse has been administered any other substance or method that has a degradation effect on a horse before it is sold. The cost for HISA cannot be calculated. Within 48 hours after passage from the effective date, HISA funding will be determined by the “Authority” itself. Not only does the Authority give themselves a blank check for initial, continual funding, and registration fees paid by “covered persons”, they also have absolute authority to take out loans of any dollar amount that must be paid back pro-rata by each State and State Racing Commission on a yearly basis. In addition to those unknown costs, they have a blank slate for the dollar amount of civil fines they can levy against violators. HISA forces the expensive duplication of the same civil system in place for regulation and enforcement at the state level. If passed, HISA will devastate the standardbred racing business nationwide. From the North American Harness Horse Alliance

US racing commissions in 2019 sent 263,783 biological samples from horses participating in professional horse races to the testing laboratories. Of those tests there were 1,461 adverse analytical findings accounting for 0.55% of all samples. 99.45% of samples tested were clear, indicating a high degree of compliance with anti-doping and medication rules based upon known information and data.. Of the adverse analytical findings, approximately 3% were clear attempts at doping as the substance detected had no reason to be present in the horse other than to provide a maximum enhancement of performance. Class 2 substances considered the next most serious level of substances that can affect performance accounted for 6.09% of all findings. Class 1 and Class 2 substances are generally considered "doping" and together they account for 9.03% of all 2019 detections. As in prior years, the overwhelming substance detections (69.75%) involved therapeutic medications (Class 4 and 5 substances) that may affect performance to a lesser extent, but are still not permitted to be present in a horse when it races. With the exception of race day furosemide to mitigate or prevent bleedings, horse racing does not permit use of these substances with a therapeutic use exemption as defined in the World Anti-Doping Code. 21.83% of the detections involved Class 3 substances. These have a greater ability to affect performance and contain substances which may be therapeutic as well as those that might indicate a deliberate attempt to cheat. This information represents the official testing results from all horse racing US jurisdictions, except Maine which did not respond to repeated requests for information. Like the testing results in human and Olympic sport, these numbers should not lessen the resolve of the sport and its regulators to pursue substances that the labs are unable to test for. This is an ongoing challenge for the anti-doping programs in all professional sport and underscores the need for intelligence based efforts in this regard as well as intelligence based out of competition testing. The RCI (ARCI) is the umbrella organization of the official governing rule making bodies for professional horse and greyhound racing. The bulk of its members are located throughout North America and parts of the Caribbean although its standards are relied upon worldwide in making regulatory policy. For 85 years, the ARCI has set international standards for racing regulation, medication policy, drug testing laboratories, totalizator systems, racetrack operation and security, as well as off-track wagering entities. ARCI's regulatory authority members are the only independent entities recognized to license, enforce, and adjudicate matters pertaining to racing. From the Association of Racing Commissoners International  

Lexington, KY --- The 2020 Annual Racing Integrity and Equine Welfare Conference of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI), scheduled for April 7-10, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA is being cancelled as a result of the public health concerns associated with the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. For more information about ARCI, please visit by Rebecca Shoemaker, for the ARCI  

This articlecolumn was written by John Pricci for  Once again, the Thoroughbred racing industry is at loggerheads, only this time appearing before a Congressional Subcommittee hearing which has held these types of inquiries before but perhaps none as meaningful. Never has the industry faced an existential crisis of major proportions. “Too big to fail” is no longer a justifiable defense for a sport whose end-product is more about the sales ring than what happens between the fences. Everyone knows why this is happening, even though some version of the Horseracing Integrity Act has been kicking around since 2015 which, by Capitol Hill standards, is the blink of an eye. On one side people are fighting hard for the lives of horses and the men and women who ride them. On the other are champions of the upperdog who invoke the health of the bottom line in order to maintain the status quo. The solutions proposed by the latter never go quite far enough. What replaces doing the right thing is to question process, making a call for compromise knowing all too well that patchwork unity has never worked. This ersatz search for middle ground is the same kind of hypocrisy practiced by those in Washington who would save the country’s top executive at the cost of a democratic republic. But I digress. As was widely reported in racing publications, Bloodhorse and the Thoroughbred Daily News, to name just two, speaking for the health of the living and breathing was a Hall of Fame jockey who won over 7,000 races. Another advocating for the Horseracing Integrity Act was the former CEO of the Maryland Jockey Club who is now an advisor to the Humane Society of America. In favor of those who hesitate to turn a page and would keep the present frozen in time is a person whose organization would become anachronistic if legislation is enacted, and another who represents a group that would take an economic hit if raceday medication were eliminated. The bipartisan bill – which in this climate should put the legislation over the top without further discussion – would have the United States Anti-Doping Agency form an authority including major industry players to regulate medication rules, policies, testing and sanctions. Indeed, the elephant in the room that H.R. 1754 would attempt to carry across the finish line is the elimination of raceday medication, legal and otherwise, a policy that would end the use of Lasix in competition. “Instead of giving the animal the rest it needs, a trainer can rely on his/her veterinarian to administer a medication to mask pain by reducing inflammation caused by an injury,” said Chris McCarron. “This bill directly addresses one of the leading causes of breakdowns.” “The bar for effectively detecting and punishing cheaters is so low that it is difficult to fail,” reasoned Joe DeFrancis. “Each trainer knows what they’re being tested for and when they are being tested. There is little if any out-of-competition testing, the kind of testing that has proven so effective in catching athletes who dope in Olympic sports,” DeFrancis concluded. In favor of maintaining the 38-state patchwork with enhancements and modifications, effectively protecting the franchise, was Ed Martin, President of the Association of Racing Commissioners International. “I don’t think this bill as presently written is going to improve the integrity of the sport,” said Martin. “But I think it would improve the integrity of the sport if it were to take [a non-governmental organization and turn it into a multi-jurisdictional investigative organization] to do out-of-competition testing as well as out-of-competition suitability exams that are red-flagged because of their vet records and procedures.” Promises of meaningful enhancements puts lipstick on the same-old pig even if the stricter protocols advanced by Santa Anita’s management group has enjoyed statistical success with improved protocols. And at least the company continues to walk its talk; as the Lasix-less Pegasus Cup proved. The Thoroughbred industry has had decades to police itself and clean up its act. But if it were not for the fact that 37 horses lost their lives last winter at Santa Anita, the raceday medication elephant would remain in a lockbox. After the hearing concluded, the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, comprised of a 14-member majority of leading Thoroughbred stakeholders and racetracks, issued a statement re continuing industry-led advanced safety measures with a promise to enact meaningful change. But the industry has had decades to accomplish these goals. The major group yet to endorse medication reform is the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, who use their veto power to stop simulcasting in its tracks. The final version of HIA must address this roadblock. Absent independent national uniformity, no effort to clean up the game will succeed in a meaningful way. If there’s a segment of horse racing that has reason to embrace the status quo on raceday medication it’s the harness racing industry, which did not get a seat at the table. Indeed, Mike Tanner, Executive Vice-President of the United States Trotting Association, was interviewed but not selected to appear. And the irony is that harness horse owners will pay more than Thoroughbred counterparts to fund the proposed commission established by the possible legislation. With an anticipated $43-45 per-start fee, and with the average Standardbred racing 18 times per year on average, compared to six for Thoroughbreds, it will cost harness owners more. There are other fundamentals to have different rules for different breeds considering the routine way each sport is conducted. Many harness juveniles, e.g., begin their careers without Lasix though they gravitate to it with age. The ARCI, which passed 12 harness specific model-rules amendments last August in Saratoga, acknowledges that separate standards may be appropriate. Statistics indicate that Standardbreds sustain three times the damage of Thoroughbreds in the course of a racing year and can race until age 14. Both breeds train and race with Lasix, but “training miles” are a routine part of maintaining condition in Standardbreds. As in Thoroughbred racing, most violations are a result of therapeutic medication overages. But unlike the crop flap at Santa Anita last season, sanctions for whipping violations and kicking that abuse the animal, as well as dangerous interference infractions have existed. Racetracks in various states for either breed fail to report catastrophic injuries. But the USTA has statistics for both breeds that, according to the California Horse Racing Board database, are eye-opening. A decade’s worth of statistics was compiled from 2009 through 2018. [Thoroughbred starters in 2009 were estimated at 45,000]. During this period all Standardbreds made 83,592 starts at Cal-Expo, compared to 381,531 Thoroughbred starters state-wide. There were 914 Thoroughbred fatalities during this time. While the numbers have improved markedly since, that translates to 2.40 deaths per 1000 starters. The Standardbred ledger shows seven fatalities. In five of the 10 years, there were no fatalities; the mortality rate was 0.08 per 1000 starters. Given that Standardbreds annually race three times more often, raceday medication in harness racing seems to be working as intended, therapeutically. Thoroughbred racing if a different game, of course. “Let’s not make the perfect the enemy of the good; we need to take action right away,” DeFrancis added. “Every day we delay we’re losing more and more public support, more and more fans, more and more customers. And it’s getting that much more difficult to get them back.” Said HIA co-sponsor Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY): “We’re all in theory talking about the same goals, and yet each of you [who testified against it] opposes the very piece of legislation that would make [uniformity] a reality instead of a tired talking point.”

Lexington, KY - At its most recent meeting in Tucson, AZ, the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI), approved 10 amendments to the Model Rules and set aside final action on other pending matters needing further work. The ARCI adopted tougher policies on NSAIDs and interarticular joint injections and kept open the possibility for further limits on phenylbutazone based upon some indications that the newly adopted 48-hour restriction may not be consistent with current research yet to be provided the Association. The Association also approved in principal dramatically increasing sanctions for violations considered to be "doping" and "equine endangerment", pending further work on regulatory definitions and rule drafting. The Drug Testing Standards and Practices (DTSP) committee was tasked to make final recommendation in time for the April 2020 meeting. The ARCI Board of Directors approved the following Model Rule amendments: Amendment to ARCI-011-020 MEDICATIONS AND PROHIBITED SUBSTANCES (E) which prohibits the administration of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory medications to horses within forty-eight hours of a race Amendment to ARCI-011-020 MEDICATIONS AND PROHIBITED SUBSTANCES (F) wherein a horse is ineligible to race in a flat race for 14 days after an intra-articular joint injection Amendment to ARCI-010-030 HORSES INELIGIBLE (10) wherein any horse in flat or jump racing will be ineligible to race if it has received an intra-articular injection in the preceding 14 days and stacking is prohibited Amendment to ARCI-011-015 PROHIBITED PRACTICES by adding a new subsection prohibiting the use of bisphosphonates in any horse younger than 4. The bisphosphonates must be FDA approved, administered according to instructions, and only used to treat navicular disease Amendment to ARCI-011-020 MEDICATIONS AND PROHIBITED SUBSTANCES (B) by dramatically increasing penalties considered to be violations in "doping" and "equine endangerment" Amendment to ARCI-010-020 WEIGHTS by altering weight allowances for jockeys riding 3-year-olds facing older horses and for 3-year-old horses facing older horses Amendment to ARCI-011-015 PROHIBITED PRACTICES (6C), by adding subsection (D) outlining under which circumstances other than laboratory testing a horse's blood can be drawn and by adding subsection (F) prohibiting chemical or immunocastration Amendment to ARCI-004-024 (K) PARI-MUTUEL WAGERING by adding language to address wagering opportunities in races with three or more horses. A proposed amendment to ARCI-010-035 RUNNING OF THE RACE - USE OF THE RIDING CROP (E) was referred to the Rider and Driver Safety Committee to be considered along with alternative proposals being submitted. The ARCI also added several substances to its Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances and made a technical correction to its Bylaws to clarify that automatic seats on its Board of Directors are to be based on the number of live horse racing days being regulated. The full updated version of the Model Rules and all associated schedule updates will be formally published by January 1, 2020. Information concerning the items that were considered, but not necessarily adopted in final form, can be downloaded at . The ARCI Model Rules form the foundation of the racing regulatory scheme in most jurisdictions. In some cases, the regulatory authorities or jurisdictions have, in the interest of uniformity, formally required adherence to the ARCI Model Rule standards affecting various subject matters. The ARCI is a member of the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities and is an active participant in the development of international standards. For more information on the Model Rules and about ARCI, please visit by Rebecca Shoemaker, for the Association of Racing Commissioners International  

The agenda and supporting materials for the upcoming ARCI Model Rules Committee meeting are now available. Use the button below to access the committee's website: The ARCI Model Rules Committee meeting will take place at the Westin LaPaloma Resort, Tucson, Arizona, USA on Thursday, December 12, 2019 at 1:30pm - 5:00pm. If you have yet to register for the meeting, you may do so at no-cost by using the link below. Please note that the meeting agenda is subject to modification. Additional notifications will be made as necessary. ARCI Model Rules Committee Meeting Agenda and Materials REGISTER (no cost) FOR THE MEETING   From the ARCI

Lexington, KY --- On Thursday (Nov. 14) the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) announced the selection of Rick Goodell to chair the organization's Regulatory Attorney's Committee. The appointment was made by RCI Chair Dr. Corrine Sweeney. Goodell, currently Associate Counsel for the New York Gaming Commission, a position he has held for a decade, brings more than two decades of experience to his new post. A longtime prosecutor, Goodell is a recognized expert in prosecuting racing drug violations. He was Co-Chair of the Model Rules Committee and is currently Chair of the National Racing Compact, an interstate agency of racing regulatory agencies that facilitates the multi-jurisdictional licensing of owners and trainers. After obtaining his undergraduate degree from William College in Political Economy, Goodell procured his law degree from the Columbia University School of Law in 1987. Sandwiched between two stints practicing privately, Goodell was a prosecutor for the Chautauqua County (NY) District Attorney's Office. In 1995, Goodell became Assistant Attorney General for the New York State Attorney General's Office where he was responsible for managing defense litigation involving New York State in Court of Claims. Goodell took his current position in 1999 and his duties involve equine drug and other gaming adjudications, equine drug rules and providing legal advice. He is also responsible for daily horse racing legal issues for regulation of Standardbred and Thoroughbred racetracks including oversight of rulings and investigations. A recipient of the ARCI Exemplary Service Award, Goodell is the co-author of the 2013 Travers Stakes and 2015 Asmussen reports and 2010 S3022A and KRS § 230.3761 (Interstate Compact). Goodell has also been a guest speaker on a number of equine issues at various venues for the last 10 years. "This is a key position within the ARCI and we are honored Rick has agreed to accept it," said ARCI President, Ed Martin. For more information about the role of the Regulatory Attorney's Committee and/or ARCI, please visit From the ARCI            

Lexington, KY --- At its most recent quarterly meeting in Saratoga Springs in August the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI), reviewed 19 amendments to the Model Rules. The Model Rules have been updated with the amendments the board of directors passed on Aug. 9. The amendments include adjustments where horse(s) are positioned behind the starting gate for two-tiered races and the use of wheel disks, mud fenders and mud aprons for sulkies. Recall rules were adjusted to clarify and determine starting violations, as well as when drivers in harness racing should be cleared to compete after requiring medical attention on or off the track. Harness racing at fairs will require horses(s) to reach an identifiable starting pole prior to the beginning of a race per the starter. Other amendments were instituted including driver violations during a race is and how drivers were substituted for competition. In addition, the term "extended break" is now more clearly defined and so are the circumstances for drivers that charge the gate. Also, in any/all Standardbred races, drivers will be allowed to use black whips not to exceed four (4) feet in total length, with a snapper not longer than six (6) inches. For more information on the Model Rules and about ARCI, please click here. From the Association of Racing Commissioners International

The ARCI Classification and Penalty Guidelines classify scopolamine as a Class 4, Penalty Class C drug. According to the penalty guidelines, if this drug is found in a post race sample, the horse is to be disqualified and the owner loses the purse in the absence of mitigating circumstances. The exact language reads: “Disqualification and loss of purse in the absence of mitigating circumstances. Horse must pass commission-approved examination before being eligible to run.”  The ARCI has no direct knowledge of the specifics of the case involving Justify and does not assume the actions of the CHRB are inconsistent with the Model Rules standard. It is incumbent on the CHRB to release to the public as much information about why the recommended penalty mitigation was justified in order to lay to rest questions concerning this matter and to reinforce public confidence in its actions.  From Ed Martin of the ARCI          

Lexington, KY ---At its most recent meeting in Saratoga Springs earlier this month the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI), approved twelve amendments to the Model Rules pertaining to Standardbred harness racing and set aside final action on other pending items for further review. The ARCI Board of Directors approved the following amendments. The proposals were submitted by the United States Trotting Association, many of which were adopted without change: Amendment: ARCI-024-036 RACING RULES regarding two-tiered races; Amendment to ARCI-024-030 EQUIPMENT (A) Sulkies to include the use of wheel discs, mud fenders and mud aprons; Amendment to ARCI-021-020 FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT (G) DISTANCE MARKERS (4) with regard to the fair start pole; Interim Changes to ARCI-024-036 RACING RULES (K) Use of the Whip; Amendment to ARCI-024-035 RACING RULES by adding new subsection Disorderly Conduct; Amendment to ARCI-024-036 RACING RULES by adding new subsection to include "charging the gate" as a violation; Amendment to ARCI-019-010 Terms by adding new subsection to define the term "extended break"; Amendment to ARCI-024-036 RACING RULES (J)(18) Conduct of the Race in regard to a horse breaking from its gait; Amendment to ARCI-024-036 RACING RULES, D (Recall Rules) by adding additional subsections in regard to starting violations; Amendment to ARCI-022-030 Drivers - adding new subsection to require medical clearance for a driver involved in an incident requiring medical attention, whether on or off the track; Amendment to ARCI-024-036 RACING RULES (J)(1) and (13) Conduct of the Race with regard to driving violations; Amendment to ARCI-024-036 RACING RULES (J) Conduct of the Race with regard to the substitution of drivers. The ARCI set aside consideration of a proposal from the Racing Officials Accreditation Program affecting automatic removal from various regulatory lists. The regulators will seek additional clarification from the Stewards Advisory Committee concerning the reasons they see for this proposal as there are usually requirements associated with the removal from the Stewards List and such actions are not automatic. Additional concerns were raised at the meeting about recent revelations that horses were able to be removed from the Vets List lists maintained by InCompass solutions by unauthorized non-regulatory individuals. Another concern raised dealt with inconsistent or limited access to regulatory lists housed in the InCompass system. The full updated version of the Model Rules document will be published after Labor Day. For more information on the Model Rules and about ARCI, please visit From the Association of Racing Commissioners International 

Lexington, KY --- The Drug Testing Standards and Practices (DTSP) Committee of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) after a meeting on Monday (Aug. 5) endorsed instituting a 48-hour restriction on administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), which include phenylbutazone and a 14-day restriction on the administration of corticosteroids, pending scientific review. The restriction on corticosteroids would not apply to harness racing, as the sport is currently amidst proceedings to determine breed-specific rules due to different race schedules for Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds and Quarter Horses. The corticosteroids were previously included in the Model Rules but were removed per the instructions of the Racing Medication & Testing Consortium (RMTC). In a recent meeting of the RMTC the organization recommended the 48-hour restriction on NSAIDs as the science is available to prove administration after that window can compromise a pre-race examination. "There have been situations, specifically in New York, where these restrictions have been implemented and been quite successful," said Ed Martin, ARCI president and past executive director of the New York Gaming and Wagering Board. From the Association of Racing Commissioners International    

The final agenda and supporting materials for the upcoming Association Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) Model Rules Committee meeting in Saratoga Springs, New York USA are now available. Use the button below to access the committee's website: The ARCI Model Rules Committee meeting will commence Thursday afternoon, August 8, 2019 at 1:30pm at the Saratoga Springs Holiday Inn. The meeting will continue the next morning at 8:00am and terminate at 10:00am. Following the Model Rules meeting there will be a joint meeting with the IFHA Committee on the International Harmonization of Rules. RCI Model Rules meetings are open and public testimony is welcome on agenda items.. ARCI MODELS COMMITTEE: AGENDA & MATERIALS Other ARCI Meeting Information   From Ed Martin, Association Racing Commissioners International  

Lexington, KY – The Drug Testing Standards and Practices (DTSP) Committee of the Association of Racing Commissions International (ARCI) has released for industry and public comment Proposed Revised Penalty Guidelines for violations of the antidoping or medication rules in horse racing. The proposed modifications represent the first major rewrite of the penalty guidelines in more than a decade and would dramatically increase sanctions on those violations that can be considered “doping” or “equine endangerment.” The committee is seeking industry and public input before modifying or advancing the proposed revisions which were developed by a workgroup consisting of past AAEP Presidents Dr. Kathy Anderson, DVM and Dr. Charles Vail, DVM; trainer and former regulator John Ward; current regulators Rick Baedeker (CHRB), Mike Hopkins (MD), and Dan Hartman (CO). The proposal would create two categories of violations, “Doping or Equine Endangerment” and “Treatment Misapplication & Mismanagement”. Penalties for “Doping or Equine Endangerment” violations would be effectively doubled from the existing Class A penalties, with a first violation requiring a two to five year suspension of the trainer and a minimum $50,000 fine which could be increased to $100,000 with aggravating circumstances. A second violation in any jurisdiction would trigger a license revocation. The proposal would also impose a $25,000 fine on an owner if there is a second lifetime offense in the owner’s stable in any jurisdiction. A third offense would suspend the owner for a minimum of thirty days to as much as a year and impose a minimum fine of $50,000 which could be increased to $100,000. Because of the seriousness of “Doping or Equine Endangerment” violations a summary suspension would be immediately required, regardless of whether there is an appeal or not. As the ARCI Model Rules require disclosure to a commission or the maintenance of required treatment records for certain substances, a new recommended penalty for failure to do so would require a minimum $500 fine for a first-time offense. A second offense would bring a $2,500 fine, a third offense a $5,000 fine plus referral to the commission for possible license review. The draft penalty matrix for “Doping and Equine Endangerment” can be downloaded here or at The draft modified Classification schedule along with suggested penalty categories can be downloaded here or at (Please note the tabs at the bottom of the page on the Classification schedule which organizes substances by Class.) Industry and public comments and proposed modifications to the proposal should be submitted prior to August 1, 2019 and emailed to The ARCI Model Rules Committee will meet in Saratoga Springs on Thursday, August 8, 2019. The Drug Testing Standards and Practices Committee will review comments and proposed changes via a conference call meeting prior to the Saratoga meeting.   Rebecca Shoemaker Assistant to the President & CEO Association of Racing Commissioners International

All racing regulatory commissions have been put on notice that the banning of voluntary race day furosemide administrations by some US racetracks or lawmakers is expected to encourage a return to practices deemed cruel, inhumane, or potentially dangerous to the health and welfare of a horse. Regulatory policy permitting race day furosemide was developed decades ago to end such practices and permit a treatment deemed helpful to the health of the horse. The Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) has long maintained their international standard permitting such use is more considerate of the health or the horse than the standards of other organizations that disallow it. Last Friday, the RCI advised Regulatory Commissions to be on the lookout for horses being given intravenous formaldehyde to combat potential incidents of bleeding. The advisory noted that Formaldehyde use is already being investigated in at least one US jurisdiction, and the RCI investigatory intelligence network is reporting that if furosemide is banned in the US, illegal formaldehyde use as an alternative may become common. "This poses an inherent danger to the horse and can be potentially fatal." the advisory read, noting that Racing Victoria, which does not permit race day furosemide, has been dealing with the formaldehyde alternative for several years. The ARCI also advised commissions that it is anticipated that some horsemen will return to a practice known as "Drawing and Muzzling". This practice, common in Europe where race day furosemide treatments are also not permitted, denies a horse food and water for twenty-four to thirty six hours prior to a race. "The denial of water or food to a horse for an extended period of time should be regarded as cruel and inhumane by regulatory authorities," the advisory read. The advisory suggested that any commissions considering requests to suspend current regulatory policy permitting race day furosemide treatments at racetracks or during select races are being advised to consider a corresponding prohibition on "Drawing and Muzzling". This is the second Equine Welfare advisory circulated to commissions in recent days. On April 30th the ARCI warned commissions to be on the lookout for an herbal drug called Kratom that has been linked to almost 100 overdose deaths in humans. Kratom is marketed as a health supplement and treatment for common maladies, but the FDA and DEA have warned against its use. Kratom has been found in racehorses in New York. Commissions were also reminded to alert investigators that some racehorses may be given treatments of nickel to boost performance in much the same way cobalt has been used. Rebecca Shoemaker Assistant to the President & CEO Association of Racing Commissioners International

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