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Friday 20, Nov 2009

  Top horse trainer died at the age of 68

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Top horse trainer died at the age of 68Five time winner of the Eclipse Award for top horse trainer Bobby Frankel recently died in his Pacific Palisades home due complications brought about by lymphoma. He died last November 16 at the age of 68.

He also won eleven times for the Eclipse Award with ten horses.

Frankel was born in Brooklyn and trained thousands of horses where he won around 3,654 races.

He was the second highest earner trainer next to Hall of Famer Wayne Lucas.

According to fellow Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Frankel was a great, fierce competitor but has always been a good person. He said he was a big loss in sport and that he is definitely going to be missed.

Frankel was one of the many to have claimed that he never used steroids in his horses. He was a critic of the synthetic substances, especially during the height of the steroids scandal in the 2008 Triple Crown Series with the horse Big Brown.

He may seem to be tough outside but he is an animal lover who always put the welfare of the horses first. He would never hurt the horses by using steroids on them.


Saturday 14, Nov 2009

  Breeder’s Cup horses cleared from any steroids use

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Breeder’s Cup horses cleared from any steroids useThe California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) announced last Tuesday that none of the horses that participated in the Breeder’s Cup World Championships tested positive for any prohibited substance such as TCO2 and anabolic steroids.

All samples from the Breeder’s Cup horses were collected Monday night and were sent to the Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory at the University of California-Davis. Testing was completed Tuesday morning with results showing that none of the horses failed the drug test. The Maddy lab tested for 45 anabolic steroids and hundreds of other prohibited drugs.

All horses underwent pre-race and post-race testing for TCO2 levels in blood. However, post-race testing was only performed on the first three finishers in all 14 Breeders’ Cup races plus additional random horses selected by the stewards. Post-race testing was additionally done on urine samples.

A random out-of-competition testing was done on 25% of the horses pre-entered in the competition. This is in addition to the routine testing done for the Breeder’s Cup. US samples were brought and analyzed in the Maddy Laboratory while samples from international competitors were brought to racing laboratories in France, England and Ireland.


Thursday 01, Oct 2009

  New Jersey regulates steroids use in horses

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New Jersey regulates steroids use in horsesJust like the new rule proposed by New Jersey Racing Commission executive director Frank Zanzuccki for standardbreds, a similar rule was proposed regarding the testing program and penalties for anabolic-androgenic steroids use in thoroughbreds.

Last Monday, officials of the New Jersey Racing Commission proposed that thoroughbred racehorses’ use of anabolic steroids must be banned. It could be permitted at very low specified levels, provided it cannot affect the horse’s performance in a race. Four anabolic steroids, namely, boldenone, nandrolone, stanozolol and testosterone, in trace amounts below 200 picograms/ milliliter are approved for use in horses. Trainers caught violating this policy could have their license suspended and a hefty fine will be imposed.

According to the commission, the new rule could be a positive deterrent on the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids. It will possible reduce the number of competing horses with anabolic steroids in their system.

It would help promote fairness in wagering, thus result in promotion of horseracing. It could significantly improve the racetrack attendance rate as well as the number of those who wager.

This new rule would be similar to those implemented in more than 20 states in recent years.

Tuesday 08, Sep 2009

  More states implementing pre-race exams in horses to minimize number of deaths

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More states implementing pre-race exams in horses to minimize number of deathsWhen there is a pre-race evaluation, the number of fatalities would be minimized since there would be better chances of detecting injury.

The death of a filly named Eight Belles due to two broken legs at the Kentucky Derby in 2008 inspired many tracks the do some reforms regarding their safety guidelines.

Last year, fatalities recorded were 1,217 deaths while in 2007, 1,247 deaths were recorded.

Racing officials and equine experts still could not pinpoint the main cause of racetrack deaths, though they believed that it could be due to a number of reasons.

Although the necropsy showed that Eight Belles was not on anabolic steroids, many racing states had banned anabolic steroids in this year’s derby.

Tracks also enhanced their racing surfaces, padding were applied to starting gates and whips were replaced with noisy but less painful riding crops.

Steroid ban though took some time before it was fully implemented. Some of the other theories associated with horse deaths were rear “toe grabs”, a kind of shoes that contain metal spike to help in traction.

Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson led the investigation of several horse tracks. The NTRA also released a checklist for the proposed safety changes to prevent further accidents in the racetracks.

Friday 28, Aug 2009

  Annual Jockey Club Round Table tackles model rule on AAS

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Annual Jockey Club Round Table tackles model rule on AASThe 2009 Jockey Club Roundtable was recently held at the Gideon Putnam Hotel in Saratoga Springs, New York. It was held last August 23, 2009.

The discussion was geared towards medication reform and the RCI Model Rule on androgenic-anabolic steroids.

The RCI Model Rule on AAS calls for all North American racing authorities to implement the model rule no later than December 31, 2008. Stuart Janney, chairman of The Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred Safety Committee, believes that the rule effectively eliminated the use of anabolic steroids in training and racing of Thoroughbreds.

Short-term benefits of implementing the RCI model rule are pretty much obvious but the most essential part is the long-term benefits. Horses will be in a healthier state in their post-racing days, and owners will be more confident knowing that their horses accomplished something without the use of steroids.

The RCI Model Rule on Androgenic Anabolic Steroids states that no AAS shall be permitted in test samples collected from racing horses except for traces or residues of stanozolol, nandrolone, boldenone and testosterone at concentrations less than the indicated thresholds.

All other AAS are prohibited in racing horses. In cases where AAS was administered to aid recovery from injury, the horse must be placed on the vet’s list.

Friday 14, Aug 2009

  Steroid ban on Breeder’s cup expanded

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Steroid ban on Breeder’s cup expandedThe Breeder’s cup recently expanded its steroid ban to include drugs in two classifications for the two-day championships to be held at Santa Anita on November 6 – 7, 2009.

These drugs are broken down based on several criteria like its pharmacology, ability to influence the horse’s performance, and its therapeutic uses, if any.

Class 1 drugs include opiates and opium derivatives; synthetic opioids; psychoactive drugs; amphetamines and amphetamine-like drugs. There are 51 known drugs in this class of stimulants and depressant drugs.

Class 2 drugs include lidocaine, epogen, caffeine and snake venoms. There are around 350 drugs known under this classification.

These two classifications are an addition to the usual anabolic steroid testing, which only started last year, EPO testing conducted 10 days before the event and TCO2 or milkshake testing.

According to CEO and Breeder’s Cup president, Greg Avioli, these additions will help strengthen the preservation of integrity and protection of their athlete’s welfare at the world’s championships.

Trainers of horses found to test positive for these drugs will be suspended for a year from the 2010 event. Trainers who will commit the same offense three times will be permanently banned from participating in the Breeder’s Cup. The horses will also be ineligible to participate in the competition.

From The Canadian Press:

“The establishment of these new regulations strengthens our number one priority of preserving the integrity of our competition and protecting the welfare of our athletes at the world championships,” Breeders’ Cup president and CEO Greg Avioli said Monday.

Tuesday 06, Jan 2009


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racehorse-steroidsIn time for the New Year, New York has set a new law limiting the use of anabolic steroids in race horses. Steroids basically have the same effects on humans and horses, except that it may cause a young horse’s skeleton to give way due to sudden increase in bulk. Just this week, New York has started fresh with this new law at hand.

“This is a good idea,” he said. “I had stopped using them with most of my horses because they were shipping to states where they were already banned. They help a horse eat a little bit, but I haven’t missed them. I just had the best year I’ve ever had, and I basically did it steroid free. I found out they don’t make that much of a difference.”

Other trainers saw things differently, however. Some veterans claimed that even if steroids don’t increase speed, they help increase endurance, size, and with the horses’ appetites.

Racing fans and trainers are yet to see the differences in the horses and in the games. As one fan had pointed out, the racing committee should get rid of all drugs. Getting rid of steroid use is one way to start.

Sunday 04, Jan 2009


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horse-steroidsIn its aim to protect natural resources, New York now has new laws including selling of excess energy to other customers and limiting the use of steroids on race horses.

Friday 30, May 2008

  Ban of Steroids Use on Horses Eyed

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horse_steroidsNews of steroids use in Major League as well as in the athletic field has been recently landing on front pages of news sources. This hot topic is also bleeding over into the horse racing sports and industry.

With the recent appointment of DVM Mary Scollay as Kentucky’s first equine medical director, the use of anabolic steroids on equines may be facing stricter regulations. Her appointment came in the aftermath of the tragic end of Eight Belles, a filly who finished second in the recent Kentucky Derby held on May 3. Eight Belles has suffered injury only a quarter of a mile past the finish line and has to be euthanized several minutes later.

Anabolic steroids are widely used in the industry for bulking up young horses in sales. In race horsing, these compounds are known to enhance appearance and performance of show horses and racehorses. Use of anabolic steroids on horses is legal in the United States except for the state of Iowa. However, because of recent negative events in race tracks across the country, such practice may end soon.

There have been much publicized criticisms that say animals are exploited through the use of anabolic steroids to boost stamina and power. The Congress, for one, has questioned the practice of injecting racehorses with steroids to keep them on their feet during the weeks before high-stakes races. Also, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and other similar groups have proposed a ban on steroid use in the month prior a race to give horses time to get the drugs out of their systems. If this proposal is pushed through, it would be in effect December this year.

However, at the other side of the fence, are opponents of a blanket ban on steroids use. Steroids, they say, are necessary to aid in horses’ recovery from different conditions, which include abdominal and respiratory illnesses, and physical injuries. Further, they say there is no evidence that this group of drugs make horses run faster.

Thursday 29, May 2008

  Steroids Use in Horses

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horse_steroidsThe recent incident in the Triple Crown on May 3 has spotlighted the use of anabolic steroids in horse racing once again. Champion filly Eight Belles has suffered two broken front ankles after finishing second in the Derby; and several minutes later, she has to be euthanized on the track.

In the statistics provided by Kentucky’s state veterinarian Lafe Nichols, DVM, it reported that in 2007, there were 45 fatal injuries in races conducted at the Kentucky tracks. Non-fatal-injuries were 81. Further, Nichols said that 23% of the 23,309 horses started at the same tracks have tested positive for medical violations. And of the 1,586 horses tested for the prohibited TCO2 only one was tested positive. TCO2, commonly called milkshake, is a mixture of bicarbonate and/or other alkaline substances that is fed to a horse before it competes. The mixture produces higher levels of carbon dioxide that delays the buildup of lactic acid in a horse’s muscles and is believed to increase stamina.

Why are anabolic steroids used on horses? The characteristics of Equipoise (boldenone) and Winstrol (stanozolol), two of the most commonly used steroids on horses, can explain why these compounds are popular in the equine industry.

These two steroids reportedly increase protein synthesis, a chemical process ideal for the body’s muscle-muscle building activity. Winstrol’s advertised properties are promotion of appetite, weight gain, stamina, hair/coat growth, and tissue healing. Further, it is promoted as a substance that corrects nitrogen imbalance without the undesirable effects of unmanageable behavior, aggressive tendencies, and impaired reproductive activity.

Equipoise’s advertisement, on the other hand, states that this drug is ideal for lean body weight, appetite, and general disposition of horses.

In humans, anabolic steroids (including veterinary-grade compounds such Equipoise and Winstrol) are popular among bodybuilders. They are widely used because they are believed to improve physique and performance. Their use, however, is considered to be illegal in most sports organizations, including the International Olympic Committee.