Texas Racing Commission Suspends Hair Drug Testing

Hair testing in racehorses began last May in Texas.

 

The Texas Racing Commission has suspended hair testing of racehorses in the state, the regulator announced Jan. 14.

Amy Cook, executive director of the TRC, wrote in an email to BloodHorse that the move was “a response to the concerns raised by Texas Horsemen’s Partnership that needed to be addressed.” She noted that “specifically, the way the commission implemented the hair testing procedure in May 2021 did not provide adequate notice and transparent procedures to participants.”

Along with existing blood and urine testing, some tracks, organizations, and regulators have added hair testing in recent years. In Texas, shortly after hair testing began last May, the Sam Houston Futurity for Quarter Horses was run as a non-wagering event after the majority of the 10 finalists failed hair tests for either albuterol or clenbuterol.

 

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Lone Star Approved for Two Additional Race Dates

Aug. 5 and Aug. 12 will be added to the Thoroughbred meet.

 

The Texas Racing Commission approved July 21 two extra Thoroughbred race dates for Lone Star Park. The racetrack near Dallas recently lost nearly eight whole race days after a racing operations employee tested positive for COVID-19.

Lone Star was granted the requested dates of Aug. 5 and Aug. 12, the first two Wednesdays of next month, for its Thoroughbred meet. The track was originally slated to conduct a 44-day meet April 16-Aug. 11, but did not get underway until May 22 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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Texas Horse Racing To Get Purse Boost From New Law Diverting Sales Tax On Horse Products

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As much as $17.5 million per year could be used to support Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse purses in Texas as a result of legislation signed into law last weekend by Gov. Greg Abbott.

House Bill 2463 diverts sales taxes on horse feed, tack and other horse-related products and services from the state’s general fund to an escrow account established by the Texas Racing Commission and capped at $25 million annually. No more than 70% of the funds in the escrow account may go toward purses. If the escrow account reaches $25 million, that would be an additional $17.5 million in purse money annually, virtually doubling the current amount, based on an economic study conducted by TXP Inc. consultants.

 

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