Heard about this while watching harness yesterday:
Pennsylvania’s comprehensive testing for steroids has resulted in the second case of a female horse being revealed as a likely male pseudohermaphrodite, and this time the horse in question is the high-profile Martha Maxine.
The United States Trotting Association (USTA) records now classify Martha Maxine, a 5-year-old offspring of Park Place-Another Agenda, as “A GENETIC MALE AND IS UNSUITABLE FOR BREEDING PURPOSES.”
Back in January, testing concluded that the horse Arizona Helen, who had been racing as a mare and in mare classes, was a male pseudohermaphrodite. In other words, the horse had an outward appearance of a female, but with male gonads, or testes. The gender mix-up was discovered through routine testing for steroids, when Arizona Helen tested positive for testosterone and her trainer claimed she had not been given any steroids.
Now the same testing has concluded that Martha Maxine, a winner of $249,975 this season, also falls into the category of pseudohermaphrodite. Martha Maxine competed in the Betsy Ross at Harrah’s Chester and was tested for steroids, which prompted the inquiry into the horse’s gender.
Arizona Helen and Martha Maxine share maternal genes. Arizona Helen is out of the Bret Hanover mare Bret’s Excellence. Martha Maxine’s dam, Another Agenda, is a daughter of Bret’s Excellence.
In February the USTA’s Registration Committee ruled that Arizona Helen could continue racing, but only as a male. During the Registration Committee meeting which dealt with the case of Arizona Helen, Kent “Chip” Hastings of the USTA’s Regulatory department said veterinarians at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center said they they expected more cases of pseudohermaphrodite because of testing for steroids.
Trainers Erv Miller, Tony Alagna and Brittany Farms own Martha Maxine. Brittany bought into the horse last May.