08/23/2013 1:40PM

Lasix to be allowed in all 2014 Breeders' Cup races

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All horses running in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup races at Santa Anita will be allowed to be administered the anti-bleeding medication furosemide on race day, Breeders’ Cup confirmed in a statement Friday, in a rollback of an experimental policy that had divided the racing industry.

Breeders’ Cup officials provided the statement a day after a discussion about the Breeders’ Cup’s furosemide policy at a meeting of the California Horse Racing Board. Following the meeting, it was briefly reported by Daily Racing Form and other publications that a policy currently in place banning the raceday administration of the drug in this year’s 2-year-old races would not be in place for the 2014 event, scheduled to be run at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. This year’s event also is scheduled for Santa Anita.

In the statement, Breeders’ Cup Ltd. officials said that while evaluating host sites for the 2014 event “it became apparent that the raceday medication policy for 2014 would have to be consistent with rules in effect in any eligible host jurisdiction at the time of the event” and that horsemen in California and elsewhere had said they would withhold approval for the simulcasting of the event if Breeders’ Cup continued to restrict the raceday use of the drug.

“To date, no racing jurisdiction in the U.S. has established a policy eliminating the use of all raceday medications, and none of our potential future host sites has been able to offer assurances that such an eventuality is likely in the near term,” the Breeders’ Cup statement read.

Furosemide, which also is known by the trade name Lasix, is legal to be administered on race day in every racing jurisdiction in North America, including California.

Horsemen in the United States have rejected calls to ban the raceday use of the drug, despite aggressive lobbying by many national racing organizations, mostly those representing prominent breeders or owners with international racing operations. Horsemen have defended the raceday administration of the drug as an effective way to mitigate bleeding in the lungs, despite a ban on the raceday use of furosemide in most of the world’s other major racing jurisdictions.

Breeders’ Cup first passed a policy to restrict the raceday use of furosemide for 2-year-olds participating in the 2012 event. The policy was supposed to be extended to all of the races for the 2013 event, but, in a vote that upset several members of the board, the Breeders’ Cup earlier this year suspended the broadening of the policy, again limiting the restriction to 2-year-olds.

In the statement, Breeders’ Cup said it “remains committed” to working toward running its races with a prohibition on raceday medication.

During the 2012 event, field size in the five 2-year-old races dropped an average of 21.6 percent. Handle on the races plummeted 23 percent.

Though it is unclear how much of an impact the furosemide ban had on handle for the 2-year-old races, Breeders’ Cup officials had expressed concern that a wider ban on the raceday use of the drug could have serious financial impacts on the organization because of the possibility of significant declines in handle.

Butch & Bobbie More than 1 year ago
This comes as no surprise. No one, absolutely no one in horse racing has any backbone to enforce rules that stick. They all, and I mean all succumb to pressure. No wonder the sport is dying. Yes, horse racing is a dying sport. And I've been involved for 38 years. What is wrong with a horse running free of all kinds of drugs in its system. But that's the environment we live in. There's a drug for everything. You read about all these meetings to discuss drugs in the sport. Ha! They are all fooling themselves. I say let every trainer use whatever can him/her an advantage. Snake venom will become the norm.
jeff More than 1 year ago
Just goes to the incompetence there, NEVER should have banned it in the first place. It is precautionary in an endeavor where a horse is being asked to work. What is wrong with that? Bring, or beg, Satish Satan to come back and clean house. These fools set the BC at the SA bowing alley AGAIN. Can you say boycott? Like Yonkers, 1st to the turn wins. Yaaah.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice to see the California cowards rule the roost in what used to be racing's crowning achievement.
jttf More than 1 year ago
hey, breeders cup committee. who are the breeders cup multiple winners ? goldikova, zenyatta, tiznow, ouija board, bayakoa, miesque, lure, da hoss, midnight lute, high chaparral, conduit and royal delta. these are the star horses of breeders cup history. nine out of the 12 horses did not use lasix at the age of two. royal delta and midnight lute only used lasix once during their two year old season. da hoss used it 3 times. i guess the chrb and breeder cup committees dont want to see super star horses.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
one more nail...hammer hammer.
B More than 1 year ago
And the beat goes on as does the slow steady downfall of this sport.
BigBear More than 1 year ago
This is the greatest racing news I've heard in a long time. We (those on the East Coast and Kentucky ) were being dictated to and are treated like 2nd class citizens by the BC committee. I was all for Repole's idea of running our own BC in NY the same day. We should demand NY gets the same amount of BC days as Santa Anita . We run all year and we fight cold & snow. Soon, even with perfect weather the west Coast won't be able to say that and I do feel sorry on Hollywood's closing . Now bring the BC back to NY so we can show them how to run ; rain or shine.
mikey More than 1 year ago
run what? horses that couldn't barely get a few furlongs without lasix?
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
Great memories of the monsoon er Monmouth park breeders cup a few storms,I mean few years back
Jeff Jolley More than 1 year ago
I completely agree. Running the BC in the northeast in late fall is like holding the SUMMER Olympics in Antarctica.Oy!
Rusty Hefner More than 1 year ago
I don't hear California whining when the East Coast hosts three Triple Crown races each and every year. And yeah, let's destory racing's only marquee days after the first weekend in June by running the Repole Stakes Day...the Laxis Classic Cup, the Bronx Distaff, and the NYRA Juvenile.....yawn!
Goldhybrid More than 1 year ago
Why run in the cold and snow?
Anne Mayea More than 1 year ago
It should be gong the other way - Lasix should be banned - bleeders should not run - healthy sound horses should be promoted, not sale topers that run fast for short distances and then bleed or get injured....
mikey More than 1 year ago
hopeless......a few still squeezing whatever is left......
Walt Gekko More than 1 year ago
I think you can thank the California horsepeople for this one: This to me shows simply put, there are some trainers who either don't know how to train and race horses without Lasix or simply don't want to have their horses race without it. This can be rendered moot if owners agreed on their own that their horses NOT race with Lasix. What is really needed is a five-year phaseout of Lasix starting with the top events like the Triple Crown, Breeders' Cup and other select Grade 1 events AND ALL races for two year olds, slowly expanding to ALL Grade 1 & 2 events and races for three year olds before the Belmont Stakes and evenually ALL races. What also is needed is for the sport to both follow and expand on the rules now in place in Harness Racing that for Standardbreds now require those horses to race through at least their four year old season as originally implemented by Jeff Gural for races at the tracks he owns (The Meadowlands, Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs) and is also followed by Woodbine Entertain Group for major Harness stakes at Woodbine and Mohawk Raceway. That has already led to its desired effect in its first year as virtually every top three year old from last year returned for their four year old season. For thoroughbreds, I would expand on this and make it so top horses have to race through their five year old season. What the latter case would do is force changes in the way horses are bred if breeders' realized that horses would have to hold up through at least four seasons of racing and at least 35-40 starts, with horses being bred for soundness, durability and stamina as opposed to speed, precociousness and the quick buck. It would reverse many of the problems the breed has had in recent years, though not overnight as horses would slowly gain more stamina and be able to race more often and for longer periods of time.
mikey More than 1 year ago
As long as there are investors willing to shell out bucks hoping for one grade 1 win to quickly send their horse to the breeding shed then this industry will keep limping along...but eventually the buyers will dry up because this breeding industry cannot attract new fans and custormers....then the industry will turn off the lights....the casino is nothing more than a teaser rate....foal crops keep dropping because their are fewer investors willing to get in the industry.....you reap what you sow.....this industry bred themselves out of business.....with horses that can barely run a mile if you drop them from a tall building and be lucky to have a dozen race career.....nobody knows these supposedly champions.....
mikey More than 1 year ago
forgot to finish...."nobody knows these supposedly champions" because they are not....
BigBear More than 1 year ago
Thank them for WHAT ? They tried to run us (East Coast & Kentucky) out of business and tried to dictate to us, Learn , you don't dictate to NY'ers . Repole had the right idea of running our own BC day at the same time and go head to head. The BC has always favored Santa Anita . Well the West Coast is losing a major track and I do feel sorry for Hollywood closing but the fact is NY runs yer round through icy rains & snow but the big three get it done and the West with their perfect weather can't say that . I'll thank them when NY has the same amount of BC days as Santa Anita . NY is 2nd to nobody.
W.G. More than 1 year ago
Big Bear (for those not seeing this on DRF, this is a response to a reply to an earlier post of mine): My plan would be to let the Breeders' Cup have its big weekend in early November while NYRA works with racing officials in Ireland, Germany and England (who may have their own three-continent series in 2014) to make it where that becomes a four-race international series that would include a fourth leg in the US on Thanksgiving weekend at Belmont Park (though doing that would mean the regular fall meet at Belmont would have to end on Columbus Day in order for the turf courses to be brought up to shape for what would be most likely a three-day Thanksgiving meet at Belmont that would be specifically set up to host the US leg of such an international championship). This would most likely be headlined by a 1 1/2 Mile Jockey Club Gold Cup (returned to the distance it was run at from 1976-'89, something many NYRA patrons do want to see happen) and the 1 1/2 Mile Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, and with it being after the Breeders' Cup also having the Beldame and Flower Bowl for females at 1 1/2 Miles as well as other major events on both surfaces that can serve as both the fourth leg of such an international championship and the events that determine the Eclipse Awards the way such events used to. It would mean moving other races to later in the year than at present as well (to cover for the events that would be moved off BC Preview day to accommodate a new Championship Meet at Thanksgiving), but this would be the best way for NYRA to counter being snubbed by BC Ltd. for the Breeders' Cup (and Repole gets his wish with a potentially much bigger event that even he imagined).
W.G. More than 1 year ago
Adding to what I wrote in a previous post concerning the BC (for those not seeing this on DRF): For 2014, BC Ltd. didn't really have any other good options due to their seemingly being HANDCUFFED to running the BC where they are to avoid conflicts with the Arc de Triomphe in France (four weeks before the BC) and Japan Cup (three weeks after the BC). Churchill Downs was not an option for that weekend due to the Future Farmers of America holding their convention in Louisville that weekend this year and again in 2014 and '15 while Belmont Park (which would need lights anyway in order to host any future BC) and Monmouth Park (same as Belmont) both were knocked out due to the NYC Marathon being scheduled for Nov. 3, the day after the BC. In addition to the Marathon (whose need for hotel space has exploded in the years just since Monmouth hosted the '07 BC), a secondary problem is the first day of the BC is scheduled for the day following the scheduled date for Game 7 of the World Series. While it is unlikely this year, BC Ltd. had no choice but to allow for a scenario where the Yankees or Mets got to the World Series and would be the home team for Games 6 & 7 on the two days directly in front of the BC, which likely would mean people who would have hotel reservations for BC week could easily in that scenario see themselves bumped due to the need to accommodate MLB officials, media and fans (and the visiting team) who would be in NYC for Game 6-7 of the World Series if it got that far. That and the NYC Marathon would make it extremely difficult to have the BC at Belmont Park or Monmouth in that scenario. Best hope for an east coast BC would be after Pimlico undergoes the renovations it is supposed to if lights are installed to be the hosts. With the infield, Pimlico can easily hold 60,000 for Friday night and 80,000 for Saturday night BC races as many in Maryland and surrounding areas would likely make a point of being at Pimlico if the BC were held there. In addition, hotel space would not be an issue since Washington is close enough to Baltimore where it can accommodate people coming for the BC if necessary, plus I'm sure elected officials in Washington would want to make the relatively short trip to Baltimore to "be seen" at a Breeders' Cup at Pimlico as well.
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
I have gave up on the breeders cup after SA got it again. This whole WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS stuff is nonsense. Be thankful Coolmore still sends their 2nd string horses or it would be simply a US Championships.
Jeff Jolley More than 1 year ago
Agree...only if they change the name World Series to the US Series, etc, etc