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New Changes for Collecting Samples From Race Horses Effective June 15, 2015

As of June 15, 2015, changes to the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering Rule 61D-6.005 , Florida Administrative Code, entitled “Procedures for Collecting Samples from Racing Animals” went into effect.

While this Rule was being workshopped in Tallahassee earlier this year, it drew very little industry attention.  Former FHBPA president, Phil Combest, spoke in opposition to it during one of the rule hearings.

Inexplicably, language mandating that every “winner” of a race “shall be sent immediately after the race to the detention enclosure for . . . the taking of urine blood or other such samples….” has been changed.  The new language states “Any horse the stewards, Division or track veterinarian of the meet designate, shall be sent . . . ”, and then follows exactly the original language.

While this section of the original Rule was well known and had worked satisfactorily for many years it was now been changed.  While we do not know what motivated this rule change, it may have been motivated by economics, to save money for the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering.

It would seem Gulfstream Park would now have to create house rules mandating which horses need to be tested immediately following a race.

Further, language requiring the owner, trainer, groom or authorized person to be present to witness the collecting of blood and urine and to sign the sample tag indicating that this person had witnessed the foregoing also has been altered to read that the person “is permitted to witness” the collection of these samples, and that this person “may” sign the sample tags.

Language deleted from this Rule included the changing of the 90-minute Rule to collect a urine sample, and then mandating that the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering representatives shall go to the horse’s barn for further attempts at collecting a urine sample.  The new language states the Division “shall have the option” to attempt further collections in the horse’s barn.

Other language deleted from the Rule stated that “the identity of the racing animal from which the sample was taken or the identity of its owner, trainer, jockey, stable or kennel shall not be revealed to the laboratory staff until official analysis of the specimen is complete.”  Now the Division or the stewards may have the samples from a particular trainer’s horses sent to the lab for immediate “super testing” rather than wait 4 or 5 weeks for test results from that complete race day.

These are the major changes to Rule 61D-6.005, F.A.C.

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