Although proposed changes to Kentucky's drug regulations by the state's Racing Commission were initially turned down by a legislative committee, an override by Gov. Steve Beshear on Sept. 4 allowed them to be enacted and are now currently in effect.
The only permitted medication on race day is furosemide (Salix). Included among the Standardbred changes is the restriction of adjunct bleeder medications and new withdrawal guidelines for the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug firocoxib.
According to Dr. Mary Scollay, DVM, the equine medical director for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, here are the changes as they relate to Standardbred racing:
1. The use of adjunct bleeder medications is not permitted within 24 hours prior to the post time for the race in which the horse is entered. (Adjuncts can still be administered at 24 hours or more prior to post time.)
2. Regulatory thresholds have been published for firocoxib (Equioxx), glycopyrrolate (Robinol) and methocarbamol (Robaxin). The thresholds for glycopyrrolate and methocarbamol are consistent with administrations performed in compliance with withdrawal guidelines.
The new withdrawal guidelines for firocoxib is: For a single dose (intravenous or oral): 48 hours; for repeated oral administration: 14 days.
3. There is a 48-hour withdrawal time for all corticosteroids administered by any route other than intra-articularly.
4. Withdrawal guidance has been withdrawn for naproxen, ibuprofen, and all other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that do not have FDA label approval for use in the horse.
5. Levamisole was reclassified as a Class A penalty substance because of its documented stimulatory effects. It should not be used in proximity to a race.