By: T.D. Thornton

By unanimous voice vote, the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) tweaked and augmented threshold levels for seven therapeutic Thoroughbred medications at the board’s Apr. 24 monthly meeting.

According to a brief written by NYSGC general counsel Edmund Burns that was included in the informational packet for Monday’s meeting, the proposal will “conform Commission rules on thresholds for controlled therapeutic medications to national model rule amendments recently made by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, Inc. (ARCI).”

Burns explained that the ARCI has modified the model rule thresholds for three drugs (detomidine, omeprazole and xylazine) based on new research. The ARCI also added to the list of thresholds amounts for another four “routine therapeutic medications,” three of which are antihistamines (cetirizine, cimetidine, and ranitidine) and one of which is a muscle relaxant used in anesthetic protocols (guaifensin).


The modified threshold levels pertain to:

Detomidine: Changed to “2 ng/ml” of any metabolite of detomidine in urine (from “1 ng/ml” in urine), and to “1 ng/ml” of detomidine in plasma (from “any” in plasma).

Omeprazole: Changed to “10 ng/ml” of omeprazole sulfide “in plasma” (from “1 ng/ml in urine”).

Xylazine: Changed to “200 pg/ml in plasma” (from “10 pg/ml of total xylazine and its metabolites in plasma”).


The newly added threshold amounts are:

Cetirizine: 6 ng/ml in plasma.

Cimetidine: 400 ng/ml in plasma.

Guaifenesin: 12 ng/ml in plasma.

Ranitidine: 40 ng/ml in plasma.


“The amended and newly proposed thresholds are consistent with New York’s existing restricted time periods,” Burns wrote. “Trainers who comply with such restricted time periods will be assured of not violating such thresholds.”