New legislation protects racetrack operators

State struggles to balance race track safety, trainer rights

ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – Legislation signed by Gov. Susana Martinez on Monday will help prevent performance-enhancing drugs to be used in horse racing.

Racetrack operators will now be able to reject trainers whose records show they used performance-enhancing drugs on their horses.

Senate Bill 116 was sponsored  by Sen. Mary Kay Papen, D-Las Cruces, and Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell, R-Roswell.

In a news release sent out Monday, Martinez was quoted as saying, “In New Mexico, we’ve worked hard to continue to protect the integrity of the sport of horse racing. This law better equips racetrack operators and officials to stand up to cheaters, and protect horses and jockeys from those who undermine the integrity of the sport.”

The release also stated Martinez has passed several measures surrounding horse racing in the state, including a fund to ensure horses are tested with high standards, increasing penalties for cheating, and banning the drug Clenbuterol for horse racing. That drug increases the oxygen flow in a horse’s lungs, the release stated. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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