Laboratory of Racing Chemistry
Laboratory of Racing Chemistry
1731-2, Tsuruta-machi, Utsunomiya, Tochigi, 320-0851, Japan

Laboratory of Racing Chemistry (LRC) was established in 1965 as a non-profit foundation dedicated to protect the integrity of horse racing from the threat of drug abuse. In the early years, LRC provided the doping tests, and carried out the research in pharmacology and physiology of racehorse.
In 1973, LRC started providing the parentage verification test to exclude the unqualified horses from the competitions. Since then, we have expanded the capacity of the both test, kept improving the qualities. Our drug testing service was approved ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation by the assessments of JAB in 2004.


Horse Racing Law in Japan

Trainers are required to be famillar with Chapter 31 (2) of the Horse Racing Law.
Horse shall not compete under the infuluence of prohibited drugs or therapeutic medications both in the national races and the regional public races. Now the following classes of drug are enlisted at the guideline of each race authority: narcotics, stimulants, CNS suppressors, painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, diuretics, local anesthetics, anabolic steroids.

Management of the test samples

Urine samples are collected and divided into the sample A and the B by the race officials at the presence of the people representing the horse trainer or the trainer himself. In case urine could not be available within the designated period, blood samples are collected instead of urine . The samples properly sealed are sent to LRC for the doping analysis.

The scheme of the doping test

To provide the accurate and cost-efficient tests, LRC designed the testing scheme, which consists of the high throughput screening tests and the sensitive confirmation test.Once the sample A was verified as positive, the sample B is extensively subjected with the inspection of the academic authorities of the field.


Stud book of Japanese horsee

Horse racing is a sport which selects and passes on outstanding pedigree to future generations. Therefore, certification of the “blood-lines” is considered as an indispensable element of the horse breeding and race credibility. In this regard, LRC have been providing the testing services of blood typing and DNA typing.

Microsatellite is the most abundant and highly variable DNA sequence of the mamalian genome, which is useful for population genetic studies and forensic cases . LRC is analyzing seventeen loci of horse microsatellite, which consist of the international standard markers of ISAG and our originally developed markers.
Polymerase chain reaction is employed to obtain the measurable amount of the target DNA, then each DNA typeis analysed using the automatic DNA sequencer.

LRC has been providing the blood typing services for decades. Our knowledge's in this field is also contributing to clinical care of new born colts and mares.
During gestation period, a mare is exposed for none-self antigen derived from her embryo, it sometimes elicits immunological responses to the sire's gene products. Once the reaction is beyond the threshold, toxic immunoglobulin is secreted into colostrum and induces fatal anemia of the colt. If one could examine nature of immunoglobulin of pregnant mare, veterinarians could choose the clinical aspects of the colts and mares.
LRC provides the testing service upon requests.


Research on analytical chemistry

Enormous numbers of drug constantly developed, doping test has been sophisticated properly. Our research is focused on the establishment of testing methods for wide range of doping agents and pharmacokinetics fo the therapeutic substances in equine medicine. To choose the detection substances of the doping test, we identify the major metabolites of the drug in urine and blood samples collected from horses after the administration, using GC/MS, GC/MS/MS and LC/MS/MS. The detection substances are synthesized for the reference substances of the drug test if needed. Then up-to-date and highly sensitive analytical techniques are employed to the assay of the them, which are designed to satisfy the criteria such as specificity, reproducibility and reliability. Recently, gene doping has become a stark reality with the development of biotechnology, we should be prepared for the threats of new kind.

The recent publications can be found here.

Research on molecular genetics

Molecular biology became the common language to elucidate the genetic traits and physiology, the community of horse geneticists started the collaboration to make the genetic and physical maps of horse.In this project, enormous numbers of genetic markers have been produced, some of them were introduced into parentage verification and individual identification services. LRC's markers such as TKY 321 are also used for the service not only in Japan but also in the United States, Canada and Australia . With the collaboration of the oversea laboratories, LRC have mapped polymorphic markers on the authentic horse maps .. LRC has been contributed in Horse genome project in conjunction with the Equine research institute of JRA .