Updated on 04/16/2012 4:14PM

Lasix ban does not pass as Kentucky commission vote ends in deadlock


The Kentucky Racing Commission Monday failed to pass a recommendation from its raceday drug committee to ban the anti-bleeding medication furosemide when a vote of the full commission ended in a 7-7 tie. Earlier in the day the committee voted in support of a regulation to phase out the drug starting with 2-year-olds in 2013. 

The committee had voted to recommend the ban by a 4-1 margin.

Under the rule, 2-year-olds would have been banned from receiving raceday administrations of furosemide - known by the trade names Lasix or Salix - in 2013. The ban would have been extended to 3-year-olds and all stakes races in 2014, and apply to all races in 2015.

The rule passed through committee despite heavy opposition from trainers. Dale Romans, a longtime Kentucky trainer, was denied permission to speak by the committee's chairman, Tracy Farmer. From a chair in the audience, Romans called the proposed ban "the final nail in the coffin of Kentucky racing."

jack s More than 1 year ago
race day medications are strictly forbidden in the UK and their run of the mill horses run 30 times per year....you very rarely see catastrophic break-downs over there
milezinni More than 1 year ago
All this really means is that the Federal Government is going to get involved and intervene. Just like Baseball in the 1990's. These so called "authorities" just can't seem to get their act together, they don't realize they have a serious problem and people don't like a fixed, or rigged game.They act like "carnies" cheating the "townies" out of a couple of bucks...And soon, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but very, very soon, the State Horse Racing Commissions are going to start feeling serious pressure. But it's a great sport and will survive, but that wont start until it get's cleaned up.
Adam Stapley More than 1 year ago
Carnies?! Most horses that race will at some point bleed. The pressure in the lungs becomes so great that the aveoli hemmorage and the horse is caused great amounts of pain. But we are carnies for taking a step to correct this problem. In baseball the problem was steroids. As we have seen recently horse racing commissions across the county have banned steroids such as Equipoise and Winstrol. If we come off as carnies you truly must be a rube.
David Sias More than 1 year ago
I have been an avid horseplayer for a long time, but I won't pretend to speak very intelligently on Lasix other than their purpose. It is my understanding though that they prevent bleeding which seems like simply allowing a horse to reach full potential rather than really improving performance synthetically and being a detriment to the overall health and safety of the animal. Of course, racing existed for a long time without them as well. I just hate to see my favorite sport continuing to struggle, especially in a place like Kentucky.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Seven - to - Seven. An even number, right? DUH! Do I now ask... What if there is a tie???
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Van Berg was right.
Rick Marciniak More than 1 year ago
Tie means No Go. I find it odd that a committee actually has an even amount of people...especially in situations like this one.
DRFInsidePost More than 1 year ago
There is a vacancy on the commission caused by the appointment of John Ward as executive director. Normally it has 15 members.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Then should they have not waited for John to be seated so that they would have a quorum??? These cats can't even schedule a proper meeting, let alone making decisions. I hope John Ward comes out of all this with his sanity intact. Well, if nothing else... They now know how the public feels.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Or maybe they did not want to come to a decision at all...
Eric Singer More than 1 year ago
rather than being a nail in the coffin this is a step toward better racing - someday horses who ran on race day meds will not be breeding and the need for the drugs will be less. it is very exciting and necessary for the sport to survive!
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Good first step... Now phase out the 2yo's - write races beginning with three year olds, write the Triple Crown Races for Four year olds and you will have sustained good racing. No... make that great racing.
Slew32A More than 1 year ago
Think it would be better if the major tracks all got together and came to an agreement on this. Honestly though if it hurts Kentucky racing that's fine with me. New York has gotten a raw deal over the last decade between the corrupt State Legislature and the misguided and biased Breeders Cup committee.
Joey W More than 1 year ago
Handicappers's nightmare. Bad enough dealing with dirt, poly and turf. Now horses shipping to different tracks in different states using lasix. Can't wait to see how the tracks handle their low handle. I would like the new rule if it were to take place in all states that have horse racing. But that will never be the case. Guess the Board doesn't see this as big industry in our state. Next will be the whips and then maybe we should go to loading horses in a box and have no jocks, just some fool at the finish line holding a carrot.
Slew32A More than 1 year ago
Not a bad idea, no jocks. Hmmm wouldn't have to worry about them stiffing anymore.
Robin Dawson More than 1 year ago
The comments so far (below) just confirm what a sorry state horse racing is in. Shame on anyone who thinks that banning Lasix isn't a good idea. And, you're dreaming if you don't realize that what this great decision will hopefully mean is that we'll soon have a ' super circuit ' (Kentucky, New York, Florida, California, Ontario) and everyone else can , including Dale Romans, Dutrow, Pletcher, Mullins etc. can either conform or get lost.
Dan Cronin More than 1 year ago
You couldnt be more wrong, lets tell your dad he cant take blood pressure meds because it effects his work, its nuts. these horses especially claiming horses need the meds to run and to not suffer painful bleeding.
Bellwether4U More than 1 year ago
Ange More than 1 year ago
Yep, well done, you won't have any horses running in Kentucky come 2015.