California’s Los Alamitos Race Course is to introduce hair follicle testing on quarter horse futurity and derby qualifiers as part of its zero-tolerance policy on clenbuterol.
The move follows the cancellation and postponement of several high level races in recent weeks, over the use of clenbuterol, a bronchodilator.
The new policy is to be presented to owners and trainers this week, and will take full effect from May 1.
In late October track owner Dr Edward Allred imposed house rules at Los Alamitos that no horse may have clenbuterol in its system, after one trainer had eight of the 10 fastest qualifiers for the $1-million Quarter horse Super Derby. The finals of the derby were postponed as a result.
Allred has taken a major stand against the drug, telling The Paulick Report: “I will not go on this way. We are going to stir up the nest. In the future we are going to make it very clear, in all of our stabling and entries: it will be clearly stated we have zero tolerance for clenbuterol and we are going to use hair technology. Anyone with a positive will be taken out of the race.
“Los Alamitos is very important to racing, with year-round quarter horse racing and now with our thoroughbred meetings,” Allred said. “I won’t have this. If someone gets a temporary restraining order or some BS, I’ll close.”
Thoroughbreds race at Los Alamitos during the day, and quarter horses at night.