05/05/2012 9:02PM

Letters to the Editor May 6


Derby process should be refined to reflect quality

I think the process of having horses qualify for the Kentucky Derby based on graded stakes earnings has been perverted by huge slots purses in not-so-huge outer-region contests.

Why not change to the qualifying technique used by Breeders' Cup method of points, based on graded stakes wins (not dollar earnings), and thereby have the quality of performances determine the field, instead of the economics of the gaming industry.

And the Breeders Cup doesn't just use points either -- it has a section of the field reserved for decision by a committee using its discretion. That system acknowledges that a robotic ranking system is not always wise.

Jeff Seder - Unionville, Pa.

Bettor ponders downside of Lasix

After reading about concern over the safety of horses over the past few weeks, the proposed Lasix ban keeps coming up, most recently in the May 4 article "N.Y. horsemen discuss Lasix issue." Lasix is supposed to prevent a horse from bleeding during a race. This sounds like a great positive for horses who bleed, but what are the negatives?

When I have a caffeinated drink, I know the positive will be a short burst of energy, but the negative is the later I won't have any energy. For every positive there is a negative. So the question I am asking is: do the positives here outweigh the negatives? Too bad you can't ask the horse about that.

I am and will always be a horseplayer. I just want to know if there are any short- or long-term effects of the use of Lasix that may have a negative impact on the horse. I hear about the positive, but what about the negative?

Brooks Schuler - Huntington Beach, Calif.

chuck More than 1 year ago
How did horses race years ago before lasix?
Union Rags TC Lock More than 1 year ago
The long term effect of continual Lasix use is that over time you weaken thebgene pooland breed horses with bleeding problems who then pass on those characteristics to the next generation. Instead of durable non bleeding race horses you eventually end up with a collection of horses who cant run a quarter mile without being loaded with drugs. Americans claim the horses cant race without Lasix, but how are the Europeans able to race just fine without having all their horses loaded with a breathing enhancing drug which is really what Lasix is. Laix also has the desireable effect of being a dieuretic which causes he horse to excessively urinate. This does two things for the trainer, it can lower the horses race time weight by as much as 20 lbs, an advantage, and because of the excessive urination it can often flush trace amounts of illegal drugs from the horses system so they do not show up on post race testing. This is why Wada has banned the use of Lasix by Olympic and oter athletes and callsvthe drug a fraud. Since Lasix has been introduced to US horse racing, horses race less often and have shorter careers even though Lasix was supposedly supposed to create the exact opposite situation. Lasix is a fraud drug that should be banned from US racing.