11/13/2014 2:36PM

Gulfstream veterinarians to administer raceday Lasix


Starting Nov. 19, veterinarians employed by Gulfstream Park will administer all raceday furosemide shots under a track policy designed to keep private veterinarians out of the stalls of horses on raceday, the track announced Thursday.

The policy will require all horses entered to race to be on the grounds by 11:30 a.m. or five hours prior to post, whichever is earlier, if they are going to be treated with furosemide, an anti-bleeding drug. Horses designated to receive furosemide on raceday will have red tags hung off their barns, Gulfstream said.

“Gulfstream Park has instituted this policy to keep the playing field level, keep private veterinarians out of horses’ stalls on the day they race, and also to continue building the integrity of the sport,” said Tim Ritvo, the president of Gulfstream, in a release.

A number of states already limit furosemide shots to regulatory veterinarians, including Kentucky and New York. The policy of limiting furosemide administrations also is part of a set of uniform rules adopted in a dozen states. Despite support from racing constituents, the Florida racing industry has been unsuccessful in lobbying the state legislature to allow the rules to be adopted.

Furosemide is a diuretic more commonly known as Lasix, and it is legal to administer in every racing jurisdiction in North America on raceday.