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Maryland Racing Commission takes steps on medication rules that will become effective 1/1/2014
by Frank Vespe
With the clock ticking towards the January 1 adoption of new medication rules in Maryland, the state Racing Commission today engaged in a vigorous — and occasionally odd and contentious — discussion about them.
Communism, polygraph tests, and personal affronts all made appearances during a wide-ranging debate.
While much public attention has focused on the new list of 24 permitted medications, threshold levels, and withdrawal times, one area that has concerned many horsemen is the new Lasix policy that will require a third-party veterinarian to administer the anti-bleeder medication. That policy is in contrast to long-standing rules that allow vets to administer the drug to the horses under their day-to-day care.
The Commission voted today to award that contract to Dr. Jay Baldwin, a veterinarian who administers similar contracts at Delaware Park and Penn National, as well as several harness tracks. He told the Commission that his team was “experienced, reliable, and honest” and that the people he hires are “beyond reproach.”