09/09/2011 5:07PM

Belmont: McLaughlin experiments by reducing use of Lasix


Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is a strong proponent of Lasix. But with a movement afoot to ban Lasix in certain races and jurisdictions next year, McLaughlin did not use Lasix on four of his 2-year-olds during the Saratoga meet. He went 1 for 4 with non-Lasix users, the one win being with Alpha, who on Sept. 3 won a seven-furlong maiden race by six lengths.

“I’m just trying to feel my way through it, luckily I have the support of Darley and Shadwell to not run on Lasix if I didn’t deem it necessary,' McLaughlin said. "We’re 25 percent without Lasix and we’re about 25 percent with Lasix through the year."

The Breeders’ Cup plans to eliminate Lasix in 2-year-old races in 2012. There is also a movement afoot to take away the graded status of stakes if Lasix is permitted in those races.

While Alpha, a son of Bernardini won impressively, McLaughlin’s three other runners did not fare well. Al Mudeer finished fourth during opening week while Eben Alsafa and McKinley Square both finished last in their respective races. Still, McLaughlin said all those horses were scoped and found not to have bled and he did not plan to run them back on Lasix.

“I don’t know if they’re going to get rid of Lasix or not, but we’re going to try and be ready if they do," McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin said Alpha, who earned an 84 Beyer Speed Figure for his debut, would likely make his next start in the Grade 1 Champagne here on Oct. 8.