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On Monday, 25 May, 2015 Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) have conducted an inquiry on into results received from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that the substances prohibited under the Rules, phenylbutazone and oxyphenbutazone, were detected in the urine sample taken from THE SYSTEM STRIDE following its win in Race 9 the St Marys Band Club Encouragement Stakes over 2125 metres conducted at Penrith on Thursday, 12 March, 2015. Trainer Mr. Robert Gatt appeared at the inquiry.  Evidence was tendered from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) and Racing Analytical Services LTD (RASL).  Evidence was presented by Mr. Gatt, the trainer of THE SYSTEM STRIDE and HRNSW Regulatory Veterinarian Dr M. Wainscott. Mr. Gatt pleaded guilty to a charge under Rule 190 (1), (2) & (4) for presenting his horse to race not free of a prohibited substance. Mr Gatt was disqualified for a period of 7 months to commence immediately.  In considering penalty, Stewards were mindful of the nature of the substance (Class 3), the guilty plea entered, Mr. Gatt’s disciplinary history and personal subjective facts. Mr. Gatt was informed of his right to appeal. Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, THE SYSTEM STRIDE was disqualified from the abovementioned race. Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 31 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by an industry-appointed Board of Directors and is independent of Government. To arrange an interview or for further information please contact: Name: Graham Loch Position: Chairman of Stewards

RWWA Stewards have today issued the following penalties in relation to the Stewards inquiry conducted on 14 May 2015 at which harness racing trainer Mr Ryan Bell pleaded guilty to the following charges after a report from the ChemCentre in Perth, that the pre-race blood sample taken from THE SILVER FOX prior to it competing and finishing unplaced in Race 5 at Gloucester Park on Friday, 24 April 2015, had a level of total carbon dioxide (TCO2) in excess of 36.0 millimoles per litre in plasma. Charge under Harness Rule of Racing (HRR) “193(1) Stomach tubing, atomisers and other devices” with the particulars of the charge being that he did on Thursday 23 April 2015, stomach tube THE SILVER FOX which was nominated to compete in a race on Friday 24 April 2015 which was within 48-hours and contrary to the provisions of the rules. Charge under HRR190(1),(2) Presentation free of prohibited substances, with the particulars of the charge being that “as the trainer, he presented THE SILVER FOX to Race in race 5 at Gloucester Park on 24 April 2015, with the prohibited substance alkalinising agents, evidenced by a concentration of TCO2 in excess of 36.0mm/L in plasma. In relation to the above charges the Stewards have imposed a six (6) month disqualification for each offence. After taking into account the principles of totality, the Stewards have directed that three months of the penalty issued for the breach of Rule 193 is to be served concurrently, with the remaining three months to be converted to a suspension to be served cumulatively. Accordingly the total period of penalty to be served shall be 6-months disqualification followed by 3-months suspension backdated to commence as of 14 May 2015, that being the date upon which Mr Bell was stood down pending outcome of the Stewards deliberations. Under the provisions of Rule 195 THE SILVER FOX has also been disqualified from Race 5 at Gloucester Park on the 24 April 2015 with all prizemonies to be returned to RWWA as prescribed by the RWWA Rules of Harness Racing. In regards to penalty the Stewards considered and took into account as appropriate: Mr Bell’s plea of guilt, co-operation and good record over many years of licensed involvement His relative youth, level of involvement and that he had been involved in the industry since he was 14-years of age The reported level of 37.4mm/L of TCO2 The need for deterrence both general and specific That the stomach tubing had not occurred on the day of the actual race and had been admitted to by Mr Bell when first interviewed by the RWWA Investigator and Stewards That the stomach tubing of the horse included alkalinising agents, albeit that such timing and nature of administration did not satisfactorily account for the reported level Trainers are again reminded that it is a serious offence under Rule 193 to attempt to stomach tube, or stomach tube a horse within 48 hours of the commencement of a race in which a horse is nominated. Media Contact: Denis Borovica – General Manager Racing Integrity  

At the May 19 Ohio State Racing Commission (OSRC) meeting, discussion continued regarding a new study concerning the effects of cobalt on Thoroughbred and Standardbred racehorses. Dr. James Robertson, consulting veterinarian, updated the OSRC on the progress of the OSRC/The Ohio State University (OSU) and Ohio Department of Agriculture's Analytical Toxicology Laboratory (ATL)'s comprehensive cobalt research study, which focuses on what cobalt does to a horse's system and its potential effect on racehorses. Dr. Robertson said the most recent meeting of the cobalt research committee was held May 12, 2015 at The Ohio State University to discuss the study parameters. Dr. Beverly Byrum, Director of Laboratories for ATL, the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL) and the Consumer Protection Lab, spoke in detail about the ATL, the official equine drug testing lab for the Ohio State Racing Commission. Dr. Byrum said the ATL currently tests post-race samples of equine urine and blood from all seven of Ohio's pari-mutuel racetracks and the 65 county fairs that conduct pari-mutuel wagering on harness racing, and that the ATL's objective is to protect horses through the detection of prohibitive substances and report their findings in a timely manner to the OSRC. "ATL is one of the premiere equine drug testing labs in the United States and is a Racing Medication Testing Consortium (RMTC) accredited lab," she declared. "ATL has one of the highest standards of technical competency in the US, and is one of only five labs in the United States to be approved by the RMTC." In 2014, Dr. Byrum explained, ATL partnered with The Ohio State University and initiated a post-doctorate degree for students to gain experience in laboratory testing, and added that the ATL regularly does interval, double-blind studies that speak to the quality management of ATL. "ATL is one of the few laboratories in the United States that has the equipment which is able to detect cobalt in both the blood and urine of equines," Dr. Byrum acknowledged. Of 15 equine testing laboratories nationwide, only five have the ability to test for cobalt. Soobeng Tan, ATL Director, submitted the 2014 ATL annual report to the OSRC, discussing testing procedures and results from 2014. Last year, Tan said, 6,764 equine urine samples, 9,222 equine blood samples and 5,163 TCO2 tests were performed, for a total of 21,149 total tests. As a result of these tests, 112 positives, including those taken at Ohio's county fairs, resulted (52 Thoroughbreds & 60 Standardbreds). In addition, 62 human urine samples were submitted to the lab, of which ten (16.1%) were positive (the most common drug being marijuana). In the equine sector, 71% of the 112 positives were either flunixin (Banamine) or phenylbutazone (Bute), a trend that had continued from 2013 of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications being the most dominant pharmacological group of drugs detected, with a total of 79 positives. In 2014 TCO2 testing was re-initiated by the ATL, resulting in seven TCO2 positives from 5,163 blood samples drawn. From 2007 through December 2013, TCO2 testing had been performed at each of Ohio's seven tracks prior to each race. The next OSRC monthly meeting will take place on June 23 at 10 am, 77 South High Street, 31st floor, Columbus, Ohio. The meeting is open to the public and horsemen are encouraged to attend. Kimberly A. Rinker The following is from  http://www.horsemansnotebook.com/  Cobalt Use In Racehorses February 11, 2015 RACING Drugs, horse health, Horse Welfare, horseracing In the horseracing world trainers are always looking for the magic bullet; something to give their horses an edge over competitors.  Cobalt appears be an addition to a long list of pharmaceuticals and nutriceuticals being used on racehorses for the purpose of performance enhancement. Cobalt occurs naturally in horses in very minute amounts.  The dietary requirement for cobalt is less than 0.05 ppm.  Cobalt is a component of Vitamin B-12.  B-12 is produced in the horse’s cecum and colon by microorganisms.  The amount of cobalt required by horses is easily reached through typical horse feeds. There have been no known cases of a deficiency of cobalt in horses or a deficiency of vitamin B-12.  There shouldn’t be any need to supplement a horse with cobalt for reasons of preventing a deficiency. Horse trainers are supplementing their horses with cobalt thinking it will increase the production of red blood cells making it another form of blood doping.  Whether it works or not is not known although veterinarians studying cobalt use don’t think it’s effective.  One of the big concerns is the negative side effects of overdosing horses with the mineral.  Heavy metals like cobalt can’t be broken down by the body and can accumulate to toxic amounts over time.  In humans overdoses produced organ damage, impaired thyroid activity, goiter formation and death. Another concern should be that trainers giving horses cobalt with the intent to enhance their performance are acting criminally.  Even if it the cobalt doesn’t enhance performance, it tells me there are trainers who will put just about anything into their horse’s bodies if there’s a chance it will enhance performance even when they don’t know what negative effects there could be to the horse’s health. Countries worldwide are testing for cobalt use in racehorse.  It is said that supplementing racehorses with cobalt has been around for the past couple of years.  Australia has reported cobalt showing up in horses above the 200 microgram threshold set by the Australian Racing Board.  Some states in the United States have been testing for cobalt since last year but there has been a problem setting a threshold.  The Emirates Racing Authority says it has been testing for cobalt since January 2014 and doesn’t feel there is a problem in the United Arab Emirates. In the United States, the New York Gaming Commission recently passed an amendment to the Thoroughbred out-of-competition testing rules that adds cobalt to the list of blood doping agents they are testing for.  Under its rules for harness racing the Gaming Commission already has a heavy penalty for testing above the current 25 ppb threshold.  Indiana has a ruling that penalizes trainers with horses testing over 25 ppb with up to a one year suspension. Some horsemen are worried that the 25 ppb threshold may cause them to be penalized for giving basic supplements that contain cobalt.  Dr. Rick Arthur , Equine Medical Director for the California Racing Board, determined the 25 ppb threshold was reasonable after doing a study on California Thoroughbreds where the average cobalt level was 1.8 ppb and the highest was 8.2 ppb.  Around the same time Dr. Arthur was studying horses to get a baseline for cobalt, the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) collected samples, to retest for cobalt, from racing jurisdictions all over the country and in every jurisdiction there were horses that tested above 50 ppb.  Dr. Arthur said you couldn’t get those results without giving horses high levels of cobalt. Dr. Mary Scollay, the Equine Medical Director for Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, in her research on cobalt, said high doses caused profuse sweating, muscle trembling, aimless circling, horses dropping to their knees or collapsing.  Also, she noted changes in the blood she collected from the horses.  The blood in the samples didn’t clot like it should.  Dr. Scollay said that the test she had done on Kentucky racehorses showed a normal range for cobalt to be between 1 and 7 ppb even when given supplements with trace levels of cobalt. The Unites States Trotting Association disagrees with the 25 ppb threshold after doing its own study and says it should be 70 ppb.  The RMTC’s Scientific Advisory Committee hasn’t been able come to a consensus on a threshold for cobalt as yet. It’s concerned about penalizing a training for giving routine supplements and vitamins that may contain cobalt.  It’s hoped the committee will meet in March and by that time maybe it will be able to make a decision. Dr. Scollay said Kentucky is waiting for the RMTC to come up with a threshold before the State announces penalties for horses testing beyond the threshold.  California requires that Standardbreds testing above the 25 ppb be put on the vet’s list until cobalt is cleared from the horse’s system.  This can take time because the half-life for cobalt is one week.  Dr. Arthur plans to recommend the same rule apply to Thoroughbreds. I certainly hope all racing jurisdictions will set a threshold for cobalt not to exceed 25 ppb.  From what I have read even 25 ppb seems high.  I don’t think anyone knows the effect, on a horse’s health, that long-term ingestion of large doses of cobalt would have.   Related Articles: Cobalt, the Latest in Performances Enhancers?; 10 Year Suspensions for Cobalt Violations; More on Cobalt Use in Racehorses

On May 20, 2015, the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA) released a Memorandum to Provincial Regulatory bodies and the Canadian horse racing industry advising that this drug has been added to Schedule of Prohibited Drugs. Addition of buprenorphine to the Schedule of Prohibited Drugs in the Pari‐ Mutuel Betting Supervision Regulations Please be advised that the regulatory amendment to add the drug buprenorphine to the Schedule to the Pari‐Mutuel Betting Supervision Regulations has been finalized. The Canadian Pari‐Mutuel Agency, in consultation with the Drug Advisory Committee, has determined that this drug should be added to the Schedule of Prohibited Drugs.    Buprenorphine belongs to a group of drugs known as synthetic opioid analgesics.  It is used to control pain in humans and in animals and accordingly, should not be used in race‐horses participating in races on which pari‐mutuel betting is being conducted.   Wikipedia - Buprenorphine Steve Lehman Executive Director             CPMA adds buprenorphine      

On Thursday 12 and Friday 13 March 2015, Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards continued inquiries into reports received from the Australian Government National Measurement Institute (NMI) that Cobalt above the threshold was detected in the following horses trained at the relevant time by Mr Dean McDowell and Mr Neil Day; CHEVALS CHARLIE (Mr Dean McDowell) following its win in race 2, the Schweppes 30th Anniversary Pace (1740 metres) conducted at BBX Bankstown on 28 February 2014. THE TWILIGHTDANCER (Mr Dean McDowell) following its win in race 3, the Australasian Young Drivers Championship Heat Eight (2140 metres) conducted at BBX Bankstown on 28 February 2014 BENZI MARSH ( Mr Neil Day) following its win in race 5, the Final Goulburn Soldiers Club Goulburn Championship (1710 metres) conducted at Goulburn on 24 February 2014   Consequently, HRNSW Stewards issued charges against both Mr McDowell and Mr Day pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule 187 (1) for failing to attend an inquiry in accordance with a direction issued by the Stewards. On 16 March 2015, Mr Murphy filed submissions in response to the charge on behalf of both Mr McDowell and Mr Day. The Stewards, in separate decisions delivered in writing on 26 March 2015, found the charge issued against each of Mr McDowell and Mr Day pursuant to Rule 187 (1) proven. On 2 April 2015, joint submissions on penalty were filed with HRNSW by legal representatives for Mr McDowell and Mr Day. On 6 May 2015, the Stewards handed down written reasons for their decisions as to penalty . Mr McDowell was issued with a disqualification of 3 years and 6 months, which is to commence at the expiry of his current period of disqualification which was imposed on 12 March 2015. Mr Day was issued with a disqualification of 3 years and 3 months which is to commence at the expiry of his current period of disqualification which was imposed on 13 March 2015. Both Mr McDowell and Mr Day have lodged appeals with the NSW Racing Appeals Tribunal against the decision of the Stewards . No application for a stay has been made. A full copy of the Stewards’ decisions of 26 March 2015 and 6 May 2015 can be found at the following links: Mr Neil Day & Mr Dean McDowell Penalty Decision Mr Dean McDowell Stewards Decision Mr Neil Day Stewards Decision Rules 187(1), provides: A person who is directed to do so by the Stewards shall attend an inquiry or investigation convened or conducted by them. Harness Racing NSW is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 31 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by an industry-appointed Board of Directors and is independent of Government. To arrange an interview or for further information please contact: Name: Reid Sanders Position: Chief Operating Officer Phone: (02) 9722 6600 Email: rsanders@hrnsw.com.au

RWWA Stewards yesterday (May 18th) completed their deliberations and determined the matters of penalty in respect of the pleas of guilt to the charges previously issued against harness racing trainer Mr Shane Young at the inquiry conducted on 12 May 2015, as follows: Charge 1 - Under HRR190(1) - presented ALFA QUEEN to race in race 5 at Narrogin on Thursday 19 March 2015, where it raced and finished first, not free of the prohibited substance Heptaminol - A fine of $5000 Charge 2 - Under HRR190B(1) - did fail to comply with the provisions of rule 190B(1) in that he did not keep and maintain a log book recording all details of treatment administered to horses in his care - A fine of $300 Charge 3 - Under HRR190A(4) - on Friday 10 April 2015 had in his possession at his stable premises a 20ml bottle of the anabolic androgenic steroid Stanazol and a 20ml bottle of the anabolic androgenic steroid Testosterone both of which contained an amount of the substance as labelled - A fine of $1000 Charge 4 - Under HRR193(3) - administered 20ml of the medication Tripart to ALFA QUEEN on 19 March 2015 prior to that mare racing at Narrogin that day - A fine of $2000 When considering penalty in relation to the charges the Stewards took into account as appropriate: Mr Young’s very good record over a considerable number of years The professional manner in which Mr Young conducted himself during the investigation and inquiry into this matter The acknowledgement of all four offences The question of the totality of all fines Previous cases involving the presence of Heptaminol in a horse in a race Previous cases involving the administration of a medication on the day of a race The fact that Anabolic Analgesic Steroids are banned substances under the rules of both Harness and Thoroughbred racing The need for deterrence both general and specific Acting under HRR195 ALFA QUEEN has been disqualified from winning race 5 the Kilkenny Westbred Fillies and Mares MS (Pace) at Narrogin on 19 March 2015 and the placings amended as follows: 1st NIGHTWATCH LADY 2nd MISS ABIGAIL 3rd LUCKY DREW 4th DISCO GEMINI 5th FOREVER REMEMBERED Mark Kemp - Integrity Operations Co-ordinator  

The Ohio State Racing Commission's (OSRC) monthly meeting will be held Tuesday, May 19 at 10 am at 77 South High Street, 19th Floor, Room 1932, Columbus, OH. The agenda includes updates on the progress of cobalt research and a presentation by the Analytical Toxicology Laboratory concerning its 2014 Annual Report. As well, updates on the status of agreements being negotiated by the permit holders of Belterra Park and Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway and horsemen will be given. Northfield Park is also requesting a live race card on July 2 that will make up a date that was cancelled this past winter due to inclement weather. The next OSRC meeting will be on Tuesday, June 23 at 10 am at 77 South High Street, 31st Floor, Room East B, Columbus, OH. As part of the June 23 agenda, the OSRC will listen to presentations from scientists and chemists regarding medication thresholds. This will be the fourth in a series of meetings the OSRC began earlier this year concerning the development of model medication rules based on scientific and fact-based analysis. At the February OSRC meeting, Edward J. Martin, President of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) and Dr. Dionne Benson, Executive Director for the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) expressed their opinions on current research methodology and passage of model medication rules. At the March OSRC meeting, six Ohio personalities expounded on these same issues, including: Phil Langley and Mike Tanner, representing the United States Trotting Association (USTA); Dave Basler, Executive Director of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) and Thoroughbred trainer William Cowans; along with Standardbred conditioner Virgil Morgan, Jr., and Renee Mancino, Ohio Harness Horseman's Association (OHHA) Executive Director. At the April OSRC meeting five veterinarians presented their views regarding medication protocols for both the Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing industries, including: Dr. John Reichert, partner/practitioner at the Woodland Run Equine Clinic, Grove City; Dr. Dan Wilson, partner/practitioner at the Cleveland Equine Clinic; Dr. John Piehowicz, practitioner/owner at Cincinnati Equine, LLC; Dr. Brett Berthold, owner/practitioner at the Cleveland Equine Clinic; and Dr. Clara Fenger, a founding member of North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians and a practitioner in central Kentucky. All OSRC monthly meetings are open to the public and horsemen are encouraged to attend. Kimberly A. Rinker Ohio Standardbred Development Fund

On 13 May 2015, the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board heard a matter in regards to various charges issued by HRV Stewards under the Australian Rules of Harness Racing (ARHR) against licensed trainers Mr Vincent Costa and Mr Joseph Costa. Charges issued against Mr Vincent Costa    Charge 1) ARHR 196A (1) reads as follows:     A person shall not administer or cause to be administered to a horse any prohibited substance For the purpose of affecting the performance or behaviour of a horse in a race or of preventing its starting in a race The charge under ARHR 196A (1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Vincent Costa related to a post-race urine sample collected from the horse ‘Uncle Wingnut’  after it won Race 7 the ‘Dunlop Super Dealer 2014 Charlton Pacing Cup’ at Charlton on 16 February 2014.  Mr Costa was the registered trainer of the horse at this time and analytical testing conducted by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Laboratory (HKJCL) and the Chemistry Centre (CC) in Western Australia (WA) reported the sample to contain a cobalt concentration of between 1200 and 1400 micrograms per litre in urine.  Charge 2) ARHR 196A (1) reads as follows:     A person shall not administer or cause to be administered to a horse any prohibited substance (i)For the purpose of affecting the performance or behaviour of a horse in a race or of preventing its starting in a race      The charge under ARHR 196A (1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Vincent Costa related to a pre-race urine sample collected from the horse ‘Beachstar’ before it placed 2nd in Race 7 the ‘Empire Stallions VicBred Super Series’ (4yo Entires and Geldings)  at the Ouyen at Mildura meeting on 13 June 2014.  Mr Costa was the registered trainer of the horse at this time and analytical testing conducted by the HKJCL and the CC (WA) reported the sample to contain a cobalt concentration of between 270 and 290 micrograms per litre in urine. Charge 3) ARHR 196A (1) reads as follows:     A person shall not administer or cause to be administered to a horse any prohibited substance (i)For the purpose of affecting the performance or behaviour of a horse in a race or of preventing its starting in a race      The charge under ARHR 196A (1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Vincent Costa related to a post-race urine sample collected from the horse ‘Blissfull Hart’ after it won Race 7 the ‘Prostate Awareness Night Pace’  at the Swan Hill meeting on 26 June 2014.  Mr Costa was the registered trainer of the horse at this time and analytical testing conducted by the HKJCL and the CC (WA) reported the sample to contain a cobalt concentration of between 590 and 660 micrograms per litre in urine. Charges 4 and 5) ARHR 193(1) reads as follows: A person shall not attempt to stomach tube or stomach tube a horse nominated for a race or event within 48 hours of the commencement of the race or event. These 2 charges issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Vincent Costa related to admissions made by Mr Costa during a stable inspection conducted by HRV Stewards on 25 July 2014 that he had previously in 2013 or 2014 stomach tubed a horse within 24 hours of a race, believing that to be the relevant timeframe in which he could do so. Charges 6) ARHR 190B(1) reads as follows: A trainer shall at all times keep and maintain a log book- listing all therapeutic substances in his or her possession; recording all details of treatment administered to any horse in his or her care and including as a minimum requirement: the name of the horse the date of administration of the treatment the name of the treatment (brand name of active constituent) the route of administration the amount given the name and the signature of the person or persons administering and/or authorising the treatment This charge under ARHR 190B (1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Vincent Costa related to admissions made by Mr Costa during a stable inspection conducted by HRV Stewards on 25 July 2014. Charges issued against Mr Joseph Costa Charge 1) ARHR 248 reads as follows:     A person shall not say, publish or write or cause to be said, published or written anything malicious, intimidatory or otherwise improper about the Controlling Body, its members and employees or the stewards or anyone else associated with the harness racing industry. The charge under ARHR 248 issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Joseph Costa related to improper comments made by Mr Costa about persons associated with the harness racing industry, namely laboratory officials, during a stable inspection conducted by HRV Stewards on 25 July 2014. Charge 2) ARHR 231(2) reads as follows:     A person shall not misconduct himself in any way The charge under ARHR 231(2) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Joseph Costa related to inappropriate comments made by Mr Costa towards HRV Stewards during a stable inspection conducted by HRV Stewards on 25 July 2014. Charges 3) ARHR 190B(1) reads as follows: A trainer shall at all times keep and maintain a log book- listing all therapeutic substances in his or her possession; recording all details of treatment administered to any horse in his or her care and including as a minimum requirement: the name of the horse the date of administration of the treatment the name of the treatment (brand name of active constituent) the route of administration the amount given the name and the signature of the person or persons administering and/or authorising the treatment This charge under ARHR 190B (1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Joseph Costa related to admissions made by Mr Costa that he did not keep a log book recording such information in accordance with the rule. The HRV RAD Board received statements from HRV Investigative Steward Anthony Pearce, Veterinarian Dr Richard Cust, Racing Analytical Services Ltd (RASL) Scientific Manager Mr Paul Zahra and Scientific Consultant Dr John Vine. Both Mr Vincent and Mr Joseph Costa pleaded guilty to all charges and after hearing an agreed submission by the legal representative of the HRV Stewards and the legal representative of Mr Vincent and Joseph Costa as to an appropriate penalty, the HRV RAD Board imposed the penalties listed below.    Mr Vincent Costa - Penalty Charge 1       18 Month disqualification Charge 2       18 month disqualification (concurrent to Charge 1 Charge 3       18 month disqualification (concurrent to charge 1) Charge 4,5    $4,000 fine (with $2,000 suspended) Charge 6       $250 fine Mr Joseph Costa - Penalty Charge 1       $1,000 fine Charge 2       $1,500 fine Charge 3       $250 fine Mr Vincent Costa’s total 18 month disqualification was backdated to 25 July 2014, a date on which his licence was suspended by HRV Stewards.  Mr Vincent Costa’s disqualification will subsequently conclude as at 25 January 2016. Acting under ARHR 195, the HRV RAD Board ordered that Uncle Wingnut, Beachstar and Blissfull Hart be disqualified from their respective races and the places be amended accordingly. Acting under ARHR 200, the HRV RAD Board ordered that all relevant prizemonies from the relevant races be returned to HRV. - HRV Media

The Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) has advised HRNSW that phenylbutazone and oxyphenbutazone have been detected in the urine sample taken from THE SYSTEM STRIDE following its win in race 9, the St Marys Band Club Encouragement Stakes (2125 metres) conducted at Penrith on Thursday 12 March 2015. The “B” sample has been confirmed by Racing Analytical Services LTD (RASL) in Victoria. Trainer Mr R. Gatt has been advised and HRNSW will continue its investigation into this sample irregularity and an inquiry will be conducted in due course. Acting under the provisions of Rule 183A, it has been determined that THE SYSTEM STRIDE, the horse subject of the certificate, shall not be nominated or compete in any race until the outcome of an inquiry or investigation. This has immediate effect. Harness Racing New South Wales

Columbus, OH --- The U.S. Trotting Association announced today it has retained the services of the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau to conduct a variety of integrity services. "The USTA is committed to integrity in harness racing and working with the TRPB will provide our industry with a wide variety of investigative, security and analytical services from the most experienced and professional integrity services organization in horse racing," said USTA Executive Vice President and CEO Mike Tanner. "We look forward to assisting and supporting the USTA's integrity initiatives in horse racing and wagering, and tapping our shared resources to better serve customers, participants, racetracks and regulators in the Standardbred industry," said TRPB Vice President J. Curtis Linnell. The TRPB will utilize its in-house resource database to provide investigative reports and intelligence on topics, organizations, vendors and people as requested by the USTA. The TRPB will also seek to expand and develop information relevant to the Standardbred industry. TRPB Senior Agent Douglas Murray, working out of the headquarters office in Fair Hill, Md., will be the primary contact for the USTA to coordinate research and information requested by the USTA. Murray will support the USTA's role in integrity issues, including allegations of illegal medications, the identification and investigation of suppliers of such, and involvement of organized crime in any aspect of Standardbred racing. Also, the TRPB Wagering Integrity Unit will consult with the USTA in the event of allegations of wagering integrity issues, including tote security lapses, alleged altered races, and possible betting malfeasance of any type. Among other services to be provided to the USTA, the TRPB will conduct due diligence and background examinations of selected associations and vendors in the pari-mutuel industry. The TRPB will include Standardbred matters of mutual concern in USTA's existing industry relationships in France, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand, as well as throughout the U.S. and Canada. Located in Fair Hill, Md., the TRPB operates as a multi-jurisdictional investigative agency in the horse racing industry. The mandate is to expose and investigate all activity prejudicial to horse racing and to maintain public confidence in the sport. The USTA Communications Department   

Five veterinarians presented their views on testing and medication issues at the Ohio State Racing Commission's (OSRC) monthly meeting on April 28 in Columbus. Early in 2015, the OSRC began listening to presentations from a wide variety of individuals concerning the development of model medication rules based upon scientific and fact-based analysis. Veterinarian Dr. John Piehowicz, who treats racehorses at his Cincinnati-based clinic said "the welfare of the horse must come first," mirroring the mindset of the other veterinarians in attendance. "I believe Ohio's policy is the most humane for treating horses," Dr. Piehowicz stated. "While uniformity is desirable, it is not practical. Currently I can help horses, but if we change to the RCI-RMTC rules, I can no longer effectively treat racehorses with safe, FDA-approved medications. We need a published curve based on real world information and rational decisions based on creditable research. The use of some medications, such as Clenbuterol, allow racehorses to live comfortably." "I commend the OSRC in the direction they are going regarding medication policies," stressed Dr. John Reichert, who practices on Standardbreds at Woodland Run clinic in Grove City, Ohio. "In Ohio we've had 122 positives from 12,000 tests in the past year, which is less than one percent. That says to me there are relatively few positive tests in Ohio and that the majority of people-vets and trainers-are playing by the rules. The hot issues with the RCI-RMTC are steroids and Clenbuterol, which we use primarily to treat inflammatory airway disease and joint issues." "In my practice, I'm addressing mainly soreness, lameness and breathing issues," Dr. Reichert continued. "Corticosteroids are used a lot in inflammatory airway disease and joint issues, and in the 25 years I've been a vet I have yet to see a catastrophic breakdown from the use of these steroids. Nobody wants a catastrophic breakdown-but unfortunately it is part of the athletic scene. We see more of these from backyard pleasure horses than we do in racehorses. "In regards to Clenbuterol, as vets, we have to be able to use Clenbuterol within reason," Dr. Reichert stressed. "My perspective as a vet is that I look at Clenbuterol as a therapeutic treatment of a racehorse. A five-day course of treatment is more of what is required for the Standardbred racehorse. Scientific research doesn't support performance-enhancement by the use of Clenbuterol." "It's difficult to obey the rules if you don't know what they are," explained Dr. Dan Wilson, a partner/practitioner at the Cleveland Equine Clinic. "We routinely test blood and urine, and the tests are sophisticated to the level of one grain of sand on a beach. There is nothing to suggest this level would enhance a horse's performance. Muscle and enzyme physiology is different for each breed: Thoroughbred, Standardbred and Quarter horses-they are all different. As proposed, the RCI & RMTC rules would alleviate all therapeutic medications for the use in Standardbreds. The loss of Clenbuterol and corticosteroids for treatment in Standardbred racing would compromise the industry and limit my ability to effectively treat horses." "We need uniform medication rules," agreed Dr. Brett Berthold, owner/practitioner at the Cleveland Equine Clinic. "Corticosteroids are used daily by my friends in the human medical field and we need the same tools as veterinarians. A uniform program needs to be in place for daily treatments, and there needs to be regulated medications we are allowed to use therapeutically. The question I have is in regards to dosage in surgical medications, that's an issue. Where is the safe zone? The emergence of newer therapeutic medications being adopted into the regulations is another main concern regarding the welfare of the horse." "There is not another commission in the country that has gone to the depths of what the OSRC is doing here." admitted Dr. Clara Fenger, a founding member of the North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians (NAARV) and Kentucky practitioner. "Eighteen of the 26 drugs in the RCI-RMTC report have no published data. The idea of thresholds is great and we're all about uniform rules, but let's get things right first. "In 2013 for instance, 24 hours out was the standard time for Banamine (to be administered prior to a race) and then in 2014 a new study came out and the RCI-RMTC said 'oops! we were wrong and Banamine can now only be used 32 hours out,'" Dr. Clara Fenger. "All kinds of people got positives as a result and purses had to be redistributed and horsemen were in danger of losing their livelihood. There was just vagueness in their limits. "We use medications because we need to," she stressed. "For instance, 27% of yearlings that go through the Keeneland Sale already have arthritis in their hocks-and that's not limited to Thoroughbreds. It's in all breeds-as these are living, breathing animals we're dealing with. We need education so that other practitioners can learn what works best in practical situations. Based on our preliminary data, most vets are using the appropriate amounts. Most Ohio rules we can live with and the RCI should be looking to Ohio instead of the other way around." The OSRC will listen to chemists and scientists present their views on these same medication and threshold levels in Standardbred and Thoroughbred racehorses at its June 23 meeting, schedule for 10 am, 31st Floor,East-B, 77 South High Street, Columbus. Kimberly A. Rinker

A Police raid on an Albion Park harness racing meeting followed a tip that drivers and trainers were using cocaine and ice and giving drugs to horses. Officers with sniffer dogs descended on the Brisbane raceway after a Racing Queensland request to investigate serious drug allegations, The Courier-Mail can reveal. Information was obtained suggesting ice — or crystal meth-amphetamine — was being given to horses to enhance their performance and that drivers were on cocaine. Police did not discover any drugs during the raids at the Saturday night race meeting last month. A joint police-RSPCA greyhound taskforce — set up after the live baiting scandal — led to the raids in a sign that investigations were expanding into broader criminality in the racing industry. Nationwide, jockeys and drivers have tested positive for methamphetamines, cocaine and other substances. Racing Queensland is in the spotlight, with concerns police have not always been kept informed of drug allegations, sources said. There are also questions over what Racing Queensland does with drug stashes if they are discovered. Jockeys, drivers, trainers, attendants, officials and others in control of racing animals are banned from taking illicit drugs and some prescription medication that can impair their ability to work safely. Racing Queensland confirmed it did not inform police of positive drug tests but did report drug possession and other illegal conduct for further investigation. Urine testing at Albion Park on April 4 resulted in driver Brendan Barnes testing positive to cocaine metabolites. He pleaded guilty and was disqualified for six months. Trainer-driver Ricky Thurlow tested positive to cocaine metabolites in a random test at Albion Park in October and was suspended for six months. Two horses in South Australia last year returned positive tests for methamphetamine. In Victoria, greyhound Jubilea Bale returned a positive test for methamphetamine in January. By David Murray Reprinted with permission of The Courier Mail

The Ohio State Racing Commission (OSRC) will fund a series of research studies on the effects of Cobalt in racehorses, partnering with veterinary clinicians and scientists from the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and the Ohio Department of Agriculture Analytical Toxicology Laboratory which has accreditation from the American Association of Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) and the Racing Medication Testing Consortium (RMTC), it was announced April 28 at the commission's monthly meeting in Columbus. "We are funding a comprehensive study on the effects of Cobalt in racehorses and a portion of it will be funded via money set aside from the Ohio Standardbred Development Fund (OSDF) and the Ohio Thoroughbred Race Fund (OTRF)," said OSRC Chairman Robert Schmitz. "Cobalt is a very timely topic and we have evidence of Cobalt abuse in Ohio racehorses," said Dr. James T. Robertson, DVM, DACVS. "We will establish a threshold for Cobalt; however, we still want to know more about how cobalt administration affects the horse." "This will be the most comprehensive, detailed series of studies of the effect of Cobalt on racehorses to date in this country," Chairman Schmitz advised. "The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine has the equine researchers, clinicians and statisticians to facilitate these studies. We are also going to ask other racing commissions, racing associations and organizations to participate in this study both financially and intellectually." Dr. Rustin Moore, DVM, PhD, DACVS, the Executive Director of the Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center and Associate Executive Dean, who has been helping to facilitate planning of these studies, said the initial studies could cost $100,000 or more; however, since planning and design are ongoing the exact budget will not be known until the study design is completed. "We've met several times over the last two months to discuss developing and design of a comprehensive series of studies to evaluate Cobalt," Dr. Moore stressed. "There's very little published data on it currently and we don't want to duplicate information unnecessarily. We are trying to gather as much information, both published and unpublished, to help in designing the studies. When we get results we want them to address the important questions and be scientifically sound and applicable. "These types of studies take time to develop and we want to define broad categories, such as: How does the body affect the distribution and elimination of Cobalt? What are the levels are reached in blood and tissues in response to various types and doses of oral supplements and IV administration? What are the effects, both physiologic and pathophysiologic (adverse or toxic), on the horse? Are there any potential performance-enhancing effects on horses or indicators that could suggest the need for further studies to assess the effect of Cobalt on performance? The question of the potential additive effects that oral supplements and IV administration could contribute to either a performance-enhancing effect or potential toxicities." Chairman Schmitz said the OSRC will ask chemists to voice their opinions regarding these same issues at an OSRC meeting on June 23. This will be the fourth in a series of meetings. Kimberly A. Rinker

While the New York State Racing Commission certainly has the right to beat its proverbial chest about what it incorrectly views as a victory for integrity, it has a clear obligation to be both forthright and accurate. That an agency of New York government would issue a release that is so inaccurate is, at the very least, completely disingenuous. For example, consider that while the term “illegally drugged” is used in the release, the alleged “drugs” are, in fact, substances that are permissible to be administered under the Commission’s own rules within a given timeframe.   Further, to say that the case has “finally come to a close” is clearly erroneous. The release conveniently fails to mention that a decision on a motion was issued just last week (April 15) by the State Supreme Court in Schenectady, and that the highly questionable evidence upon which the Commission based its ruling will now be fully litigated in the courts. Contrary to the Gaming Commission’s pronouncement, the case has really just started. Clearly, trumpeting integrity sounds quite hollow when the trumpeter lacks integrity of its own.  ....................................................................................................... Here is Lou Pena's Attorney Andy Turro's response to the Gaming Commission's Press Release concerning its determination of the Pena case. "While we were disappointed about the Commission’s determination, we were not surprised given the that Agency’s record of routinely disposing of such matters in a manner adverse to the subject of its prosecution, especially since hearing officers are, in fact, hired by the Commission itself.  The Commission’s press release also contains misleading statements and omits critical facts.  First of all, Mr. Pena was not charged with administering any “illegal substances.”  Rather, he was charged with administering substances that are expressly permitted to be administered by the Commission’s own rules, but was claimed to have administered them too close to the time of the race.  And while the Commission did hold Mr. Pena responsible for 1,717 charged violations, the Commission’s press release fails to mention there was not a single positive test to support any one of its charges. While the Commission’s release claims that it reviewed “veterinary records,” the Former Chairman of the New York State Veterinary Board who testified at the hearing confirmed that these “records” were no more than billing records.  The Commission’s release also does not disclose that the veterinary provider refused to certify the accuracy of those documents.  For all of these reasons, we intend to continue to pursue Mr. Pena’s legal remedies and we remain confident that in the end,  Mr. Pena will be fully vindicated." by JC for Harnesslink Media  

This morning (April 28) the Honorable Sandra J. Feuerstein of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued an order staying the administrative hearing of the New York State Gaming Commission against Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott for alleged overages of therapeutic medication. Mr. Mott has sued Commission members, employees and the state's equine testing lab for violating his civil rights as a Commission licensee pursuant to what is commonly referred to as a federal "1983" action. In his suit, Mott raises the issue that the Commission and its predecessor, the New York State Racing & Wagering Board, routinely and consistently deny licensees accused of drug offenses and legitimate medication overages the right to split sample collection and independent referee testing. In fact, in just the last two years, blood samples were denied to numerous accused licensees under the premise that, after the state's own testing was completed, "not enough" blood was left over to send to one such referee lab. Mott was denied independent testing of the blood sample extracted from the subject horse. “The Judge had legitimate questions as it related to the Commission’s practices in its sample collection, and ordered the attorneys for all parties to brief the issue and be back in court in June,” said Andrew Mollica, Mott’s attorney. The Commission hearing, scheduled for May 6, has now been stayed indefinitely. The court issued a briefing schedule with a return to court date of June 29.    

Tampa, FL - The Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) is formally notifying regulators and their testing labs of a new policy that would make it illegal to administer cobalt to a race horse. The RCI Board of Directors last week voted to sanction trainers of horses that were found to have a cobalt level of 50 parts per billion (ppb) or greater of blood plasma or serum with a "B" penalty, which calls for a minimum 15-day suspension, a minimum $500 fine, and 4 points on the trainers Multiple Medication Violation record. Owners of horses that raced would also face a loss of any purse money earned and the horse would be excluded from competition until a retest at the owner's expense proves levels have dropped to below 25 ppb in plasma/serum. The 50 ppb was based upon the unanimous recommendation of the RCI Scientific Advisory Group which met on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 to review a proposal from the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium that was submitted on April 10, 2015. The RCI Drug Testing Standards and Practices (DTSP) Committee unanimously affirmed that recommendation on April 23, 2015 and it was adopted that same day by the association's Board of Directors. The RCI Board also adopted a policy that would exclude horses from competition that were found to have a cobalt level of greater than or equal to 25 ppb but below 50 ppb of blood plasma or serum. Those horses would be placed on the Veterinarian's List and not be allowed to return to competition until a subsequent test proves that high cobalt levels have dropped below 25 ppb. Subsequent tests would be conducted at the owner's expense. The RCI Board of Directors opted to defer action pending further review and comment on an additional recommendation to impose a ten year suspension on trainers of any horse found to have over 300 parts per billion of cobalt in blood plasma or serum. That recommendation was supported by a majority of the DTSP Committee and five of six members of the RCI Scientific Advisory Group. RCI policies are embodied in the ARCI Model Rules and the Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances, which serve as a regulatory policy guide for commissions. In some instances, both documents can have the force of law if a jurisdiction or regulatory agency has enacted a policy to incorporate them by reference. The RCI Board expressed appreciation for the work of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium as well as the following members of the RCI Scientific Advisory Group: Dr. Adam Chambers, Dr. Kenneth McKeever, Dr. George Maylin, Dr. Mary Robinson, Dr. Scott Stanley, and Dr. Thomas Tobin. Steve May Vice President and Business Manager Association of Racing Commissioners International

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