Southern California will participate in a groundbreaking study aimed at identifying and avoiding potential injuries in racehorses by analyzing messenger RNA (mRNA) markers in blood samples. The research project is being conducted by the University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Center and was approved by the CHRB at its August, 2021 meeting. The goal is to develop mRNA technology into a reliable, non-invasive tool that will empower owners and trainers by providing an additional method for improving the welfare and longevity of their racehorses. Participation in this study is a means by which owners and trainers can contribute towards this important goal.
The project involves the collection of an additional blood sample at the time of TCO2 testing. These samples will then be used to validate previously compiled data to identify specific markers for horses at risk for a catastrophic injury. The study will be overseen by Dr. Tim Grande at Santa Anita. Sample collection is expected to begin in mid-February.
Since samples are collected quickly (5 seconds) and during a time when the horse is already being stuck with a needle, participation in this study entails minimal disruption for the trainer and minimal risk to the horse. If you do not want your horse to participate in this study, please make that known at the time of TCO2 sample collection. To help explain the project, a study information sheet is attached. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Dr. Allen Page at the Gluck Equine Research Center, (859) 489-4144 or firstname.lastname@example.org.