By: T.D. Thornton

The Texas Racing Commission has ended a year-long study on corticosteroid use and will begin enforcing threshold levels in Thoroughbreds that meet Racing Medication and Testing Consortium standards starting with the opening of the Lone Star Park racing season Apr. 7.

Horsemen were given notice of the policy change in the form of a Mar. 10 letter from the commission’s executive director, Chuck Trout, that was sent to the Texas Horsemen’s Partnership and the Texas Thoroughbred Association.

In February 2015, the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory was granted a phase-in period to allow it to calibrate its corticosteroid detection results with other RMTC-certified labs. During the past year, veterinarians were given feedback about overages in advance of the commission beginning its enforcement of corticosteroid thresholds.

“TVMDL has refined its testing processes and is now confident their results are accurate and consistent with results at other RMTC-certified labs,” Trout wrote. “In addition, during Sam Houston Race Park’s 2016 Thoroughbred meet, TVMDL detected only one above-threshold corticosteroid, Triamcinolone Acetonide, out of samples from 316 races.”

According to Trout, the enforcement will apply to Thoroughbreds only. Notice for enforcement in Quarter Horses may come at a later date.