Not So Golden: Officials Examine Use of Carolina Gold on Race Day

by | 03.28.2013 | 5:17pm

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) raised concerns about gamma-aminobutyric acid last year, ultimately banning use of the depressant in competition. Now, horse racing officials are investigating whether the drug, also known as GABA or “Carolina Gold” is being administered along with race day Lasix.

Officials with the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium told Blood-Horse that they are in the process of mapping out a course of action regarding GABA. There are tests for GABA, although they are not offered by all laboratories, and the drug can be difficult to detect, since it clears the system in four hours. The substance is naturally present in a horse's body, which complicates the process of establishing a testing threshold.

Poor reactions to GABA, which is administered intravenously, can result in sudden death. According to a press release by USEF at the time of its ban, it has no recognized medical use but is thought to act as a calming agent, which can effect performance.

Read more at Blood-Horse

  • Kim MacArthur (Anita Xanax)

    Hmmm…’Investigating…being administerd along with race day Lasix’ ‘Poor reactions…may cause sudden death”Difficult to detect’ Life At Ten, anyone? P-man said himself it was a reaction to Lasix; or maybe what was in it?

    • What about Life at Ten? I can’t remember.

      • Roisin

        In the Breeders Cup, Ladie’s Classic, 2010, there was obviously something wrong with horse. She broke sluggishly and trailed the field for half before she quit. I believe the jockey, Valazquez, took the hit for not reporting his concerns re the horse prior to the race. The trainer , Pletcher, was hardly mentioned.

        • Well, he did tell the commentators (while he was out on the track) that she wasn’t warming up properly. Kim has a good point–perhaps LAT was on tranquilizers.

    • Life at Ten tied up. Could have been related to Lasix injection but more likely related to prerace excitement. Extremely unlikely a depressant would bring it on.

  • A bunch of humans (vets included) are a disgrace to the human race…When these people get caught Abusing the Horses/Putting the Jockeys lives in danger & Fixing Horse Races they need to be locked up & banned from ‘The Game” FOREVER…ITS KILL N “THE GAME”…The Powers be need to put a STOP to this BS NOW!!!…If they don’t THE FED is going to do it for them REAL SOON…Wake up & get BUSY!!!…

    • Beachy

      Some vets ESPECIALLY; i won’t extrapolate being a disgrace to the whole equine vet community, because there are great, fair, caring vets out there. But the vets doing this have lost their way…”first do no harm” has become “Well, try to do no harm, or hope you don’t do any harm, but who cares when there’s lots of $$ in the picture…”

      I don’t know how any of you doing this can look in that horse’s eyes while injecting and live with yourselves. I can say that, too–I’m a health care professional who gave medicine for years–medicine to SAVE LIVES, not to profit or endanger. You nauseate me…

  • Barry Irwin

    The late Dr. Alex Harthill probably knew more about cheating to win horse races than any modern vet. I asked him, if given a choice of any drug legal or illegal, what would he choose.
    Answer: Ace promezine–a common tranquilizer. He said that taking the edge off of a horse would help more of them than anything else. Show horse people have know this for decades.


    I thought Carolina gold was moonshine

  • Beachy

    Ok people, is there anything you’re NOT giving them?

  • Intears

    Don’t these low lifes know when to quit!!!! Enough already!!!!!! How can you face yourselves in the mirror and like what you see.

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