More money slated to crack down on doping in NM horse racing

By Rob Nikolewski on January 14, 2013
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After a year in which New Mexico horse racing was the target of a slew of negative stories — including the deaths of quarter horses running in high-profile races and suspensions of trainers for doping — the proposed budgets from Gov. and the have called for increased spending for the

From NY Times: “A 2-year-old quarter horse named Teller All Gone broke a front leg in a race on Sept. 3 and was euthanized.” Photo by Jakob Schiller for NY Times

The budget recommendation from Gov. Martinez calls for $750,000 more for an improved testing regimen to catch dopers at tracks across the state while the LFC recommended at an $362,400 for the upcoming fiscal year.

“I think the Racing Commission has sent a message we’re not going to tolerate cheaters,” Commission Chairman told on Monday (Jan. 14). “And the governor’s budget (recommendation) understands that.”

Doughty said the $750,000 amount suggested by the governor’s office should be sufficient for the Racing Commission to help clean up the sport.

“That $750,000 number is what we need,” Doughty said. “It will help us increase the number of horses tested and help us do out of competition testing” in which horses will be randomly selected away from the track to make sure they haven’t been injected with illegal drugs designed to help them run through injuries, thus leading to break downs.

The commission is also looking to increase the number of investigators from two to five or six and institute necropsies (autopsies performed on animals) for every horse that breaks down on the track and dies.

Doughty said he disappointed that the LFC recommendation for more funding was about half of the governor’s recommended number, “But maybe it’s just a starting figure for negotiations,” he said.

Sen. (D-Las Cruces) has been advocating for more testing and oversight and has in the upcoming 60-day legislative session aimed at strengthening rules for the industry. She’s also a member of the LFC. So would she prefer $362,400 or $750,000?

“Let me say this,” Sen. Papen said Monday, “I would welcome more dollars.”

In 2012, the Racing Commission passed a number of rules changes to crack down on the drugging of horses while a number of explosive stories featuring New Mexico made national headlines — including a that claimed the state had the worst record in the country when it came to injuries as well as the for allegedly doping horses with a referred to as “frog juice.”

“New drugs are being developed and we’re having a hard time getting the capability to test for it,” after the commission passed tougher guidelines. “… We’re trying to stay one step ahead of what new secret drug is going to be developed.”


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4 Comments For This Post So Far

  1. Michael Cusortelli
    12:36 pm on January 15th, 2013

    This shows that our governor and legislators value the importance of the horse racing industry to the agriculture and tourism sectors of our state’s economy.

  2. kim gillette
    11:40 am on January 16th, 2013

    I am happy this is happening, I hope they use monies for out of race testing..

  3. Kim Bagnell
    2:39 pm on January 16th, 2013

    ThankU Goverment of NewMexico for “Caring” .
    When the Criminals are caught, Prison time for Attempted Murder of The Horses. Loss of License in Every State and other Countries. Loss of OWNERSHIP of any Horse. Fines $…and Community Service.

  4. kim gillette
    3:06 pm on January 16th, 2013

    kim B , that sounds good but far getched for them to actually do…I would love to see out of race testing….go to the farms of horses that are about to race, draw blood and see who is doing it

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