Out-of-competition testing rule moves forward in Maryland

Posted: Jan. 17, 2017

The new out-of-competition testing model rule approved by the Association of Racing Commissioners International in December should be on the books soon in Maryland.

The Maryland Racing Commission Jan. 17 approved the rule under emergency provisions. The Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission approved the rule at its meeting Jan. 11.

“There is a little more wordsmithing to be done, but no substantive changes,” MRC Executive Director Mike Hopkins said. “We want to include the Prohibited List by reference so we don’t have to (approve updates) over and over again.”

The out-of-competition testing rule greatly expands the substances that qualify for testing, including anabolic steroids. Hopkins said the rule should be in place before the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in late May.

In other business, Maryland Jockey Club President Sal Sinatra told the racing commission the organization hopes to open two or three more off-track betting facilities this year, including one at MGM National Harbor casino. He also said work on a third new barn at Laurel Park is 85% complete.

On the racing side, Sinatra said the MJC and horsemen have agreed to add more Maryland-restricted races beginning with the March condition book at Laurel. One of the changes will allow owners of Maryland-breds to waive the claiming price in a $40,000 maiden claiming event.

(Laurel Park photo by Tom LaMarra)