Keeneland to begin drug testing 2-year-olds

Friday, March 16th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Keeneland will begin drug testing for 2-year-olds after suggestions from critics that performance enhancing drugs are used to help fetch higher prices for some horses.

Keeneland will adopt the same medication rules that the state imposes for races when it begins testing at the April 17 sale.

``By using the rules of racing, we're making a level playing field. We felt it was the right thing to do,'' said Rogers Beasley, Keeneland's director of sales.

The 2-year-old sales have been faced scrutiny because of unusually fast performances during pre-sale public workouts, which affects the price a horse can bring.

Critics have suggested horses with the fastest times may have been given anti-inflammatories, anti-bleeder medications, bronchodilators or painkillers.

Under the regulations, horses with the fastest workout times and others randomly chosen would be tested.

Consignors will be required to list all medications given to the horses for each of the 14 days before the sale. And any horse disqualified would be removed from the sale and a buyer would have the right to negate the sale.

By adopting those rules, Keeneland will have the strictest regulations in the country for 2-year-old sales.