The Maryland Racing Commission began testing all equine urine and blood samples in accordance with graded stakes protocol earlier this year, according to executive director Mike Hopkins. Frank Vespe, reporting for The Racing Biz, stated that the move to upgrade the state’s testing came following a mid-March mid-Atlantic regulators’ meeting. Hopkins told Vespe, “You’ve got the same type of testing going on in New Jersey and Delaware. So we’re making it all consistent.”

Graded stakes-level testing requires 213 drugs be tested for by the commission. Of those, 103 are mandatory and the remaining 110 can be chosen from a broader list of medications. Hopkins said that in Maryland, Truesdail Laboratories would now test for a broader spectrum of drugs in urine, which Hopkins said is “a medium used for testing for specific drugs you many not find in blood.” These medications typically metabolize too quickly to show up in blood testing but would show up in urine testing.

To read Vespe’s full story, click here: