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CHRB issues cobalt advisory concerning Finish Line Iron Power

October 17, 2015     E-mail this page to a friend!

The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) recently investigated a case of elevated cobalt in a Thoroughbred. This overage appears to be related to the use of Finish Line Iron Power, a fairly new supplement with a high cobalt concentration reported at 21.6 mg per serving. Horse vitamin and mineral supplements have traditionally had cobalt below 2 mg. The exact dosing of the Iron Power as to the amount, frequency, and timing relative to the testing is obscure but appears similar to the label instructions. The horse does not appear to have received any other treatments containing cobalt prior to testing. Elevated cobalt also was identified in a standardbred last year related to Finish Line Iron Power, but that horse had previously been administered cobalt salts.

The California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System (Maddy Laboratory) will be conducting a follow up investigation analyzing the concentration of cobalt in the specific Finish Line Iron Power product confiscated at the barn and conducting follow-up administration studies. In the meantime, the CHRB advises caution in the use of Finish Line Iron Power. Regardless of circumstances, trainers are responsible for overages for cobalt found in post-race samples.

Ordinary vitamin and mineral supplementation or traditional vitamin injections do not cause an issue with cobalt. Oral supplementation products traditionally have cobalt in the neighborhood of 2mg/day or less. Vitamin B-12 is roughly 5% cobalt and the typical 3,000 microgram dose does not cause an issue. Beware of products which have used the brouhaha concerning cobalt to add cobalt to their formulations. Additional information can be found on the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium website at