In light of recent news regarding a positive test received by 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify, the Association of Racing Commissioners International has released a statement on the medication in question.
The New York Times published an article on Wednesday indicating that Justify received a positive test for scopolamine, an anti-nausea drug, after winning the Santa Anita Derby on April 7 — one month before the Kentucky Derby. On Thursday, the Times posted a follow-up article indicating that the horse received the positive test from consumption of contaminated food.
ARCI’s statement on scopolamine released Thursday (Sept. 12) afternoon appears below.
The ARCI Classification and Penalty Guidelines classify scopolamine as a Class 4, Penalty Class C drug.
According to the penalty guidelines, if this drug is found in a post race sample, the horse is to be disqualified and the owner loses the purse in the absence of mitigating circumstances.
The exact language reads: “Disqualification and loss of purse in the absence of mitigating circumstances. Horse must pass commission-approved examination before being eligible to run.”
The ARCI has no direct knowledge of the specifics of the case involving Justify and does not assume the actions of the CHRB are inconsistent with the Model Rules standard.
It is incumbent on the CHRB to release to the public as much information about why the recommended penalty mitigation was justified in order to lay to rest questions concerning this matter and to reinforce public confidence in its actions.