Clenbuterol Or Albuterol Found In Hair Tests In Six Of 10 Finalists For Friday’s $731,650 Sam Houston Futurity

Hair testing that detected the presence of clenbuterol or albuterol in a majority of the finalists in Friday night’s $731,650 Sam Houston Futurity for 2-year-old Quarter Horses at Sam Houston Race Park in Houston, Texas, has cast a cloud of uncertainty over the Grade 2 race, the Paulick Report has learned.

Six of the 10 runners that qualified in the May 7-8 trials were found to have either clenbuterol or albuterol from hair samples that were taken May 15, a source with knowledge of the testing procedures told the Paulick Report. Two other horses’ sample sizes were insufficient and two of the 10 tested clean, the source said. The test results by individual horses in the rich Futurity was not disclosed.

A second sample was taken from eight of the 10 horses (excluding the two that tested clean) on Wednesday, May 26, for re-testing.

Both clenbuterol and albuterol – classified by the Texas Racing Commission as Class 3 drugs with a severe Category A penalty – are prohibited in Texas for use in race horses of all breeds, in accordance with 16 TAC 319.3. Though they are bronchodilators designed to treat airway disease, both drugs can be misused for their steroidal effects that can increase lean muscle mass.

The decision to supplement plasma and urine testing with hair testing for the Sam Houston Futurity finalists was driven by the Texas Racing Commission, the source said. Robert Elrod, a spokesperson for the Texas Racing Commission, said he could not comment on the situation “because it is an open investigation.”

Track officials are said to be considering their options for the race, which is funded largely through a series of five nominations and sustaining payments that began in December 2019. The winner is slated to earn $292,660.

There are no also eligibles for the race, though positive drug tests are mentioned in the nomination form, which states: “Should a horse be disqualified for a positive drug test report or ineligibility of the horse according to the conditions of the race (i.e., age, breed, ringer, etc.) the next fastest qualifier shall assume the disqualified horse’s position in the final.”

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