05/10/2012 11:54AM

Jockey Club, TOBA launch anti-medication website


The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association have launched a website that advocates for a ban on raceday medication, a cause the two organizations have embraced in recent years.

The site, cleanhorseracing.org, includes links to online petitions, one of which allows a user to submit a form to the New York State Racing and Wagering Board supporting a phase-out of the anti-bleeding medication furosemide. The New York board recently opened a two-week comment period on a proposal to ban the raceday use of the drug, which is currently legal to administer on raceday in every North American racing jurisdiction.

The site leads with the phrase, “Let the horse, not the drugs, determine the outcome.” It includes links to popular social media sites, and includes an archive of news articles that are supportive of a raceday medication ban.

“As the momentum continues to grow for a ban on the use of raceday medication in this country, we want to keep all industry stakeholders properly informed,” said Jim Gagliano, the president of the Jockey Club, in a release announcing the launch of the site. “This website provides a platform for advocates of medication reform to receive updates and take action.”

The Jockey Club and TOBA have spearheaded efforts over the past several years to ban the raceday administration of furosemide, though those efforts have so far been largely unsuccessful, in most part because of opposition from horsemen’s groups. Several weeks ago, a push to phase-out the use of raceday furosemide failed in Kentucky when the state’s racing commission deadlocked on the proposal.

The effort has gained supporters among federal legislators who have criticized racing for what they say is a widespread reliance on medications, both legal and illegal.