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After weeks of news on a female track athlete’s gender testing and associated scandal regarding officials’ handling of the issue, it’s timely to point out improved testing for racehorses is also uncovering a few surprises in the starting gates Ð including some fillies and mares reclassified as horses after hormone levels revealed that were carrying some extra anatomical baggage.

Earlier this year we covered the case of Arizona Helen, a Standardbred pacing mare reclassified as a horse after a testosterone test and subsequent physical exam.

According to Nicole Kraft, communications director/Hoof Beats executive editor, U.S. Trotting Association, the blood and tissue testing revealed that Arizona Helen had XY chromosomes, "so she was a genetic male who had malformed external genitalia. She is a pseudo-hermaphrodite."

Behavioral clues and the erstwhile mare’s physique completed the puzzle (Kraft described Arizona Helen as "built more like an East German female athlete than a belly dancer

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