03/04/2013 12:55PM

Darley executive resigns from Breeders' Cup board over furosemide policy


Oliver Tait, the chief operating officer of the international breeding and racing operation Darley, has resigned from the board of the Breeders’ Cup, citing the organization’s decision last week to suspend the expansion of a policy banning the raceday use of furosemide in Breeders’ Cup races.

In a statement, Tait said the board “stepped back in time” with the decision to suspend the policy, which was first adopted in 2011. Under the policy, raceday furosemide was prohibited prior to any of the event’s 2-year-old races in 2012, and that policy was set to expand to all 14 races this year (the Breeders’ Cup last week also dropped one race from its lineup, the Juvenile Sprint).

“A true world championship, to be enjoyed and admired by all, needs to be medication free,” the statement read.

Asked if Tait’s resignation would impact whether Darley horses would be entered in this year’s Breeders’ Cup, Jimmy Bell, the president of Jonabell Farm, Darley’s operation in the U.S., said: “Any and all decisions regarding horses running in the Breeders’ Cup have been and always will be made by Sheikh Mohammed.”

Darley is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, who races the majority of his horses under the Godolphin banner. Darley has horses in several European countries, and it also manages the racing operations of several members of the Maktoum family.


Marc Ferrell More than 1 year ago
This is what I call "taking his bat and ball and running home". We do not know if that was his personal decision or done jointly with Darley. I was on the fence to nominate my foal to the Breeders Cup because of this pending decision. The only reason the Breeders Cup exists is because of the breeders and owners who decide to pay the fees each year. If everyone stopped paying nomination fees each year the BC Organization would collapse. They need to listen to the breeders and owners (which apparently they have) and not be bullied into making their decisions. Hats off to the Breeders Cup for standing tall. To breed lasix out of our horses will take over 20+ years. Look at how long a stallion is standing, broodmares are producing and then developing new replacement mares and stallions who do not race on lasix and who are not born from those stallions or mares who raced on lasix. Do the math it will take a very, very long time.
Debra Medlock More than 1 year ago
I know I'm going to get lambasted because all these comments have been negative, but I believe the board did step back in time. Lasix and clembute need to be removed from american racing.
Nathan More than 1 year ago
let the arab's race all their horses in the desert all year round.. they employ full time chemists, year round, to give them all the edge they need in europe and then they complain when they can't win any majors in n.a. we don't need them.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
they should run a drug fee breeders cup in Europe or Dubai on the same day as the breeders cup and let the breeders cup u.s.a become like the sunshine millions...that way you would have a drug free turf oriented breeders cup in Europe and a drug and Lasix infested breeders cup...let people bet whatever they feel is best..they could just reinstate R duthrow jr.and legalize a drug free for all with no testing and let the best needle miracle trainer rule.ill bet there would be a bunch of rapole/pletcher horses.no talk of boycott from them.
kingsailor2 More than 1 year ago
I think this resignation is a mistake on the part of Darley. No one disputes that they and the other Gulf Arabs are a huge contributor to thoroughbred racing in the U.S.--and including the local Fayette Co., KY economy. They are men (and princess) of great integrity and generosity; they grace our racetracks with their horses and their presence. But this "snit" is the wrong response -- and it highlights the fact that they--ultimately a European racing outfit--want to impose a European racing model on the U.S. It shows us behind the scenes what a great push and influence they must have put on BC, TOBA, etc. I think they should admit defeat, but stay on the BC Board. They dominate European racing, and that's fine, but it's a different market over here, one much larger and dirt-oriented. We need lasix ! As an aside, in the U.K., they have a new "Champions' Day" about 2-3 weeks before the BC, which has been getting the best turf Euros--maybe that is a factor also; it certainly undercuts the turf component of BC here in the States.
Chas More than 1 year ago
Good bye, Oliver Tait...take your high and mighty talk keep it in England...Your boss, Darley only cares about his ego and 'collecting' horses by building his breeding farms...Darley brought Street Sense, Hard Spun and they never saw the track at 4, robbing racing fans of some very outstanding horses...As for Lasix, when Europe, Japan and Australia come clean on how they train and condition their horses aka not train on lasix or other things, then Tait can pop off about lasix being used in America...Racing in America should cater to the horses and the fans here and not the the likes of Tait,,,
Subtlewave More than 1 year ago
Hey chas, youre not to bright.
Bruce Baudoux More than 1 year ago
or sharp
Martin More than 1 year ago
Looks like the Cup races will be back at Belmont in 2014 as Lasix will be permitted. Hooray for best track in the USA. Europeans love the weather and of course the mile & half oval.
Bruce Baudoux More than 1 year ago
It may be the last time Big Sandy sees the Breeders Cup if Frank Stronach has his way. Santa Anita is the perfect venue for the Cup so he is determined to have it named as it's permanent home. They do put on an excellent couple days entertainment, just sayin.
MikeH More than 1 year ago
i second that good
Babette Cade More than 1 year ago