Some questions have come up recently in regards to a multitude of issues and we’ll do our best to answer some of them on the blog so that everyone has a chance to see the responses.
Q. When will Crown the Cat race next?
A. Crown the Cat is now eligible for races restricted to non-winners of three races lifetime. With that in mind, we’ll do our best to find a race, keeping in mind that our first choice may not have enough horses to actually be run.
The first option would have been to run back this Friday in a $5k N3L sprint going 6 furlongs. First of all, it seemed like a relatively quick comeback given that she ran less than two weeks ago. Secondly, it seemed highly likely that Ms. Cecile, the runaway winner we faced two races back, would be entered in this spot. (As it turns out, she was entered and is 7/5 on the morning line in a field of eight). Therefore, it looks like a good thing we decided to pass on this spot.
At this point, our preferred option for Crown the Cat would be to run in a $5k N3L going long on August 26. However, we need prepare in case there are not enough horses to make that race go.
Other options include:
1. Entering in a $15k N3L going long on the grass on August 25.
2. Worst case scenario would be waiting until September 2 and running in the $5k N3L going short. At that point, we hope that Ms. Cecile has gone through that condition and is not eligible for the race.
Q. What is the plan for Crown the Cat following the meet?
A. Many of you have been asking what the plan is for Crown the Cat following the race meet. Jeff, Andrew and Kevin have been discussing the options and, as was spelled out in the club agreement, she will be sold at the conclusion of the racing season. However, it sounds like some group members (or multiple groups of group members) have expressed interest in continuing on with her after the meet. If that is the case, she can certainly be sold to a new group consisting of club members, etc.
As soon as we are able to get the bills updated, we will put a club meeting together to discuss the logistics and to get group members together to discuss a plan moving forward.
Q. How are horses tested for drugs? What’s the process? Who’s responsible?
A. Drug testing in Minnesota is outlined in statute and is expounded upon by rules authored by the Minnesota Racing Commission.
The long and short of this statute is that the racetracks pay for the entire cost of administering the drug tests and that horses are allowed to have only two specific foreign substances in their body while racing (NSAIDs such as tylenol and LASIX).
Currently, both the first and second place finishers from every race – plus any other horse selected by the stewards – are tested following the race. These horses are taken to the test barn (located down by the 1/4 pole) where both urine and blood are drawn from the horse. Samples are taken in front of racing commission employees and these samples are then split and one half of each sample (blood and urine) is transported to the testing laboratory in Colorado.
The testing laboratory then reports back any positives the Racing Commission and they post them here. Trainers are given a chance to appeal the ruling if they wish and, if they chose to do so, the second half of the sample is sent out to one of three different laboratories (trainers are given an approved list they can chose from).
Drugs are given different classifications and the penalties vary based on these drug classifications. Fines are typical for drugs ranging from Class 5 (minimal ability to enhance performance) to Class 3 (some ability to enhance performance). Suspensions are more typical for Class 1 and Class 2 drugs which have a high probability of enhancing performance.
Obviously, fines and suspensions escalate for repeat offenders. Additionally, fines can be levied if there is too much of a permissible medication in horse’s system on race day.
According to statute in almost all states, the trainer is the absolute insurer for the condition of the animal. Therefore, it is his or her responsibility that the animal remain substance free. Therefore, fines and suspensions are his or her responsibility.
Drug testing in racing is a very important issue and one that racing jurisdictions take very seriously. If you are at all interested in learning more about drug testing in racing, I strongly encourage you to read the Frequently Asked Questions portion of this website. Dr. Scot Waterman, the authority on drug testing in race horses, does a great job talking about drug testing in the sport, how it compares to human drug testing (he says testing in racing is more sophisticated), and other topics. It’s an interesting read.
Additionally, jockeys are tested for drugs prior to, and during, the race meet.