Drug Tests Clear for Derby, Oaks Horses: Blood-Horse 5/16/16

By: Ron Mitchell

According to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, all participants in this year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) have tested negative for any prohibited substances.

Based on the blood and urine samples taken from all horses participating at Churchill Downs May 6-7, full instrumental screening for 1,800 substances and their metabolites resulted in one test—from a non-Derby horse that raced Derby day—being sent on for confirmatory analysis by the testing laboratory.

The lab then has seven business days to complete confirmatory analysis following the issuance of a screening report that identifies one or more samples as suspicious.

“Confirmatory analysis involves performing an unequivocal identification of the substance, and in the case of threshold substances–quantitative analysis that determines if the substance is present in a concentration in excess of the regulatory threshold plus the laboratory’s uncertainty measurement,” Dr. Mary Scollay, KHRC equine medical director, said in an email. “Numerous suspicious findings are ultimately reported as Passed after the quantitative analysis determines that while the substance was present, it was present in a concentration below the regulatory threshold.”

Scollay said the Derby and Oaks programs were also safely run, with no catastrophic injuries.

“There were no catastrophic musculoskeletal injuries on either day,” Scollay said. “One horse demonstrated post-exertional distress walking off the track after being unsaddled and was treated by KHRC veterinarians.”

Scollay said Shagaf was pulled up in the stretch in the Derby with no evidence of lameness and was subsequently diagnosed with chip fractures that will be addressed with surgical removal.