04/14/2011 2:59PM

Breeders' Cup backs effort against raceday medication

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Add the Breeders’ Cup to the growing list of organizations that have endorsed a recent call to eliminate raceday medications in the next five years.

At a meeting on Thursday, the board of the Breeders’ Cup appointed a subcommittee that has been asked to develop “a plan and a timetable” on the elimination of raceday medications during its year-end event, which includes 14 races held over two days, according to the organization. The board also voted to endorse the elimination of raceday medications “in principle.”

The actions follow recent calls by officials of the Association of Racing Commissioners International to ban raceday drugs in order to align U.S. medication policy with other international jurisdictions. The call has also been endorsed by the Jockey Club and several other organizations, but horsemen have indicated that they will not support a raceday ban on furosemide, or Lasix, the diuretic that is used to treat bleeding in the lungs.

The Breeders’ Cup annually draws a large number of participants from international jurisdictions where raceday medications are banned and the relatively liberal U.S. policy is often criticized. Still, most foreign trainers elect to treat their horses with Lasix when they race in the event.

In other actions, the board elected Tom Ludt, the president of Vinery, to a two-year term as chairman. Ludt will replace Bill Farish Jr., who stepped down at the board meeting after five years as chairman.

On Wednesday, the organization’s members approved bylaw changes that lengthened the chairman’s term to two years but limited the chairman to two consecutive terms.

Also at the meeting, the board extended the deadline for a discounted foal nomination fee to Aug. 1, provided owners nominate foals online. The full nomination fee is $500.