The New York State Racing and Wagering Board has promulgated new rules intended to reduce the number of equine deaths in thoroughbred racing. The rules come on the heels of a report issued by the New York Task Force on Racehorse Health and Safety. The task force was formed in 2012 after 21 equine deaths occurred in just four months’ time, which was double the expected frequency rate. Specifically, the task force found that the health and safety of racehorses and jockeys would be improved by reducing the use of legal anti-inflammatory medication in the time period after the horse is entered to race. The amendments also control the administration of corticosteroids which can mask inflammatory changes ordinarily associated with joint disease and the use of clenbuterol as a substitute for anabolic steroids. Trainers will have to maintain accurate records on such injections.
The overcharges to bettors by the New York Racing Association that ended in late 2011 were not as much as originally reported. In April, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board said the overcharges amount to $8.5 million, but a recent state comptroller’s audit of another entity brought the amount down to $7.4 million. See Albany Times Union story. The new findings were the result of an audit of the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund, which showed a difference in how auditors and fund operators calculate revenues and expenses.
As New York state moves toward a new gaming commission designed to consolidate all racing and gaming regulatory oversight, which is set to be unveiled in February of 2013, changes in personnel have been expected to occur. Today it was announced that Gordon Medenica, director of the New York State Division of the Lottery, has submitted his resignation to the Executive Chamber (Governor’s Office). He has also resigned from the state Franchise Oversight Board, which was most recently in the news over the tussle between the governor and the New York Racing Association Board of Directors.
This week, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board published new testing procedures and penalties for thoroughbred and harness horses found to have elevated levels of TCO2. The Board revised the rules to “reflect current scientific developments and revise penalties to best deter violations.” The proposed rule is now subject to a public comment period for 45 days pursuant to the State Administrative Procedure Act (“SAPA”).
Today a mid-level New York appellate court unanimously upheld a 10 year suspension and $50,000 fine of thoroughbred horse racing trainer Richard Dutrow, Jr., previously levied by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board (view decision). The penalty was based on a violation of the rule prohibiting licensed trainers from possessing hypodermic needles at race tracks (see, 9 NYCRR 4012.1[a]) and a positive test for the drug butorphanol within 96 hours of racing (see, 9 NYCRR 4043.2 [g]).