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Anti-milkshaking law signed in California
Thursday, September 08, 2005 - from the California Horse Racing Board

Sacramento, CA --- California Assembly member Jerome E. Horton (D-Inglewood) has announced that Assembly Bill 52, a bill to combat illegal substances in California racehorses, was signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Assembly Bill 52 requires the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) to adopt emergency regulations to establish policies, guidelines and procedures to test the total carbon dioxide (TCO2) concentrations in the bloodstream of racehorses. These regulations are necessary to determine whether an alkalizing substance was administered to improve a horse's performance in a race, a practice known as "milkshaking".

The bill also contains a provision that would designate the University of California at Davis as the primary testing laboratory for the Board.

"Milkshakes" are mixtures of bicarbonate and other alkaline substances, fed to a horse shortly before it competes. The mixture is believed to delay the build up of lactic acid in a horse's muscles, allowing it to run farther before tiring. Because the excess carbon dioxide in a horse's bloodstream quickly dissipates, testing must be done immediately after a race.

The Board adopted a rule in January for TCO2 testing, but a modification of state law relative to split-sample testing was required before the Board could assume responsibility for all TCO2 testing in California. Assembly member Horton introduced AB 52 to change the split-sample requirement -- only as it pertains to TCO2 testing.

On behalf of the California horse racing industry and the Board, AB 52 contains a second provision which will allow the Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Laboratory at the University of California at Davis to be the primary drug testing laboratory for racehorse drug testing.

The Maddy Laboratory is one of the premier laboratories in the world, and one of only two laboratories in horseracing accredited by the American Association of Laboratory Accreditation to the International Organization for Standardization standard.

“(AB 52) will not only ensure a level playing field for the owners and trainers of racehorses, but will protect the integrity of this great sport and the fans that support it,” said Assembly member Horton, after learning that his bill was signed by Governor Schwarzenegger.

“Now more than ever, it is imperative that the California horseracing industry remains at the forefront of combating the illegal use of drugs in racehorses. It will ensure that California continues to be the place where the best horses race, and the best trainers and jockeys compete."