MCLAUGHLIN HORSES ALLEGEDLY TEST FOR BANNED SUBSTANCE IN KY
Medication news is in the Paulick Report pipeline today from Kentucky and Pennsylvania.
First to Kentucky, where trainer Kiaran McLaughlin has allegedly had three horses test positive for ipratropium bromide, a short-acting bronchodilator classified by the Association of Racing Commissioners International as a Class 3 drug. The positive test allegations, conducted at the University of Florida testing laboratory, have not been confirmed in split-sample tests.
According to sources, the positive tests were for horses that ran during the fall Keeneland meeting and include a Grade 3 stakes winner. The Kentucky Racing Commission could not confirm any positive tests until after a split sample is returned and stewards have conducted a hearing and ruled on the matter, but a source close to the cases said McLaughlin is cooperating with investigators. The source said the low-level positive was called based on urine screening, and McLaughlin has requested that a sample of plasma from the horses also be tested.
No official ruling or purse distributions have yet been ordered, pending confirmatory testing and a stewards hearing.
Now to Pennsylvania, where there is good news for the dozens of owners and trainers charged with having a horse test positive for lobeline, a drug used in nicotine patches to help humans quit smoking but also found in the lobelia inflata plant that is indigenous to the Midwest and Eastern United States. (The Paulick Report first reported on the rash of positive tests for lobeline Sept. 23. Click here to read the original article.)
According to sources, the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission is going to dismiss all of the lobeline positives, called at infinitesimal levels in both Thoroughbred and Standardbred horses. It isn’t clear yet whether purses for the races in question will be affected in any way.
Racing commission staff visited one of the farms where one of the horses that tested positive for lobeline had been turned out, the source said, and lobelia inflata was clearly evident in pastures. Additionally, what may have led to the dismissals was testing conducted at the University of Pennsylvania by Dr. Larry Soma that yielded a positive result after a horse ingested a dried version of the weed.
Of course, there will likely be no financial reimbursement to trainers and owners who were forced to pay for split samples and hire legal counsel to defend them against the accusations for lobeline positives.
In the end, at least, it looks as though the commission made the right decision.