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Archive for Saturday, June 6, 2009

Tests not performed on euthanized horses

June 6, 2009

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— Two agencies that oversee thoroughbred racing in New York have not asked for follow-up tests after the deaths of 20 horses who were euthanized in racing or training accidents at Aqueduct and Belmont Park this year, according to a report in The New York Times.

The report said the New York Racing and Wagering Board, which regulates racing in the state, has rarely asked for necropsies on horses that died at state tracks. The New York Racing Association, which operates the tracks, also has not sought tests to help determine cause of death, the Times reported in Friday’s editions.

Last week, Belmont Park was certified by the National Thoroughbred Racing Associations Safety and Integrity Alliance.

John D. Sabini, the chairman of the Racing and Wagering Board, told the Times: “It has always been a question of are the results worth it and who’s going to pay for it?”

Seven states, including Kentucky and California, conduct full necropsies on horses. The information has proved to be valuable, particularly in identifying potentially preventable ailments. A necropsy performed after Eight Belles broke down at last year’s Kentucky Derby showed the filly was free of drugs and had no pre-existing injuries.

Alex Waldrop, president of the NTRA, told the Times that necropsies are vital to the industry. He said the association’s Safety and Integrity Alliance hopes to make necropsies mandatory.

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