Hold on federal horse racing authority rules lifted for now

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge’s ruling that keeps a national horse racing authority from enforcing its rules in Louisiana and West Virginia was temporarily blocked Friday by a federal appeals court in New Orleans.

The ruling late last month by a federal judge in Monroe said the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority likely went beyond its bounds on three rules that went into place July 1.

The federal government had asked that the judge’s order be blocked. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals court said it would block the order temporarily while it considers the case.

U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty’s ruling said the authority may have overstepped its bounds when it comes to how horses covered by the rules are defined, the ability for investigators to confiscate records from anyone who owns or “performs services on” a covered horse and basing state payments for upkeep partly on race purses.

Doughty’s ruling came in a lawsuit filed by state government and racing officials in the two states. It’s unclear how long the block on Doughty’s ruling will be in effect.