Commission also approves expanded wagering at International Gold Cup steeplechase

by Nick Hahn

At its September 25 meeting, the Virginia Racing Commission adopted by resolution the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI)  Model Medication Rules, to be implemented January 1st, 2014. With the unanimous approval of a resolution, Virginia regulations will mirror the most recent version of the ARCI Uniform Classification Guidelines for foreign substances.

Those rules set uniform thresholds for a determined list of controlled therapeutic medications.  Virginia joins Maryland, which adopted the reforms earlier this month. At the meeting, Commissioner D.G. Van Clief, Jr. who chairs the Racing Safety and Medication Committee, announced that officials in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia and Massachusetts also are committed to the protocol.

With the approval, Virginia will also now implement the multiple violation point system for overages in 24 recognized therapeutic medication and positives in prohibited substances (details here). The Commission’s testing lab will now be required to obtain ARCI accreditation. The Commission is under contract with HFL Sports Science Laboratory in Kentucky which has already been accredited.

Under the new guidelins, Lasix will be the only race day medication allowed and must be administered by the state veterinarian or his designee no less than 4 hours prior to racing.  The rules prohibit the use of adjunct bleeder medications.

In other matters, the Commission approved the parimutuel wagering format for the International Gold Cup held at The Plains, Virginia. At the races on October 19th, spectators will be able to place win, place, show, exacta and trifecta wagering through standing machines and wireless interfaces. The Gold Cup offered wagering to spectators this spring through self-serve terminals, and this fall it will add wireless service available via prepaid deposit cards.

“The upgraded standing machines will provide better service to the public,” said Mike Pearson on behalf of the International Gold Cup. On the first Saturday in May of this year, the Virginia Gold Cup offered parimutuel wagering for the first time on a limited basis without wireless technology.