Harness Trainer Facing 180-Day Suspension Over Four TCO2 Positives At Red Mile

Harness racing trainer Patricia Brewer is facing a $3,000 fine and 180-day suspension after four of her trainees came up positive for TCO2 within 10 days at the Red Mile in Kentucky, according to last week’s fines and suspensions bulletins issued by the United States Trotting Association.

It is not known whether Brewer will appeal.

The four positive tests were as follows:

  • Oberlin, finished fourth in the 11th race on Sept. 19, 2022; TCO2 registering a level of 39.45 ml/l; Brewer fined $1,500 and suspended for 90 days 11/07/2022 through and including 02/04/2023; purse money of $624 forfeited.
  • Big John Houn, finished fourth in the 11th race on Sept. 19, 2022; TCO2 at a level of 40.25 ml/l; Brewer fined $1500 and suspended 90 days 02/05/2023 through and including 5/05/2023; purse money of $390 forfeited.
  • Tobie Lou, finished off the board in the fifth race on Sept. 29, 2022; TCO2 registering a level of 39.05 ml/l; no further penalty assessed since horse raced prior to Brewer receiving notice from the testing laboratory of a previous TCO2 violation and horse did not earn purse money.
  • Skyway Trooper, finished fifth in the eighth race on Sept. 29, 2022; TCO2 at a level of 38.05 ml/l; purse money of $425 forfeited; no further penalty assessed since horse raced prior to Brewer receiving notice from the testing laboratory of a previous TCO2 violation.

Kentucky and Louisiana became the last states to outlaw manipulation of TCO2 levels in the 1990s, and California started testing for elevated levels in 2004.

TCO2, or total carbon dioxide, is present in horses naturally as a result of normal metabolic processes. When someone tries to manipulate TCO2, they’re hoping to increase TCO2 levels and decrease lactate levels. Lactate is the byproduct of aerobic exercise and causes muscles to feel tired.

Milkshaking, one method of trying to artificially manipulate TCO2, involves delivering a dose of sodium ions along with bicarbonate, commonly from an ingredient like baking soda. This is intended to elevate TCO2 and therefore reduce lactate as the horse’s body works to keep everything in balance. Milkshaking is thought to have crossed into Thoroughbred racing from the Standardbred world in the late 1980s. The practice gets its name from the slurry consistency of the paste delivered directly to the horse’s stomach via a nasogastric tube.

The post Harness Trainer Facing 180-Day Suspension Over Four TCO2 Positives At Red Mile appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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