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Major owners make no-Lasix pledge for their 2-year-olds
By Matt Hegarty
A group of 40 owners have signed a pledge to race their 2-year-old horses this year without raceday furosemide, the anti-bleeding medication that has been the topic of a heated debate in racing for the past year.
The owners include the vast Arab-owned stables of Shadwell, Juddmonte, and Darley, according to a list distributed by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, which has been urging racing commissions to ban the raceday use of the drug for the past year. Also on the list, which is dominated by owner-breeders, are Gary Biszantz, Bill Casner, Robert Clay, William Farish, Arthur and Seth Hancock, Barry Irwin, Ogden Mills Phipps, George Strawbridge, and Frank Stronach.
The effort to obtain the pledges was initiated by Casner, a former trainer who is the owner of WinStar Farm in Kentucky, according to owners who have signed the pledge. Casner began the effort after TOBA’s American Graded Stakes Committee rescinded a rule earlier this year that would have required a ban on raceday furosemide in 2-year-old stakes races this year in order for the stakes to retain their graded status. The stakes committee had passed the rule in 2011.
Irwin, the owner of Team Valor International, a racing partnership, said that none of the 2-year-olds he owns solely or through Team Valor will receive furosemide this year, even if one of the horses has a severe bleeding episode while racing.
“Basically, I want to return to old-fashioned horsemanship,” Irwin said. “If a horse bleeds really bad, we’ll just give it a break.”
Irwin said that he has owned 500 horses over the past 26 years, and that “only three” had ever bled from the nose while racing, while “about ten” had chronic problems with bleeding.
“It’s just not the problem people make it out to be,” Irwin said. “Basically you’ve got a bunch of people using scare tactics” to support the continued legal administration of the drug on raceday.
Critics of the effort to ban the raceday use of the drug have consistently challenged owners who called for the ban to run their horses without furosemide. The drug is legal to administer on raceday in every jurisdiction in North America, and approximately 95 percent of all horses are administered the drug prior to running.
Casner ran most of his 2-year-olds last year without furosemide. He has said that forgoing raceday administrations of furosemide has had health benefits to his horses.
Irwin said that he has already run four 2-year-olds this year without furosemide, which is commonly known by its former trade name, Lasix. One, Jane’s Heir, won at first asking, and she is currently the 7-5 morning-line favorite in Saturday’s $50,000 Tippett Stakes at Colonial Downs.
2yr. olds . I want to see Farrish race POOL PLAY without anything but hay ,oats & water. Fat stronaching chance !! I'm supposed to respect the wishes of a family that had assets sieZed for trading with the NAZI's. Thats a fact and if you censor this than you are part of the problem , Mr. Hegarty. BSB
PRETTY MUCH THESE OWNER BREEDERS ARE ALL HYPOCRITS AS YOU CAN TELL BY THE SALES NOW THE APPEARANCE OF THHE HORSES HAS CHANGED ENORMOUSLY SINCE THE BANNING OF STEIROIDS AS THE OWNER BREEDERS WOULD AND WILL DO ANYTHING TO GET YHE HIGH $ DOLLAR
People just don't get it... when a horse bleeds, it's very hard on them, and, they remember. You run a 2 year old, actually any horse of any age, and he/she bleeds, they won't run very well the next time out, no matter how much time off you give them. Lasix is not the problem with horse racing, it's just the one people want to jump all over. If an total Lasix ban is implemented, horse racing is done.
just like taking the guns away from honest citizens, what happers?
did I miss Godolphin's name?
These owner-breeders are ruining the "party at the spa" and, obviously, some of their good horses (hope you saw the 3rd today), in order to throw a hissy fit on an issue that they (a) cannot get passed at the state level (yet); and (b) cannot get passed at the federal level despite their craven rent-seeking. They are ruining the game for everyone, especially handicappers and horses, just because they want to winnow the market down to the bloodstock that only they can afford to own. Very unsportsmanlike.
good luck getting the ny circuit miracle trainers to go along.wesley ward,tod pletcher,steve assmussen will dominate every 2yo race at saratoga by pushing these young horses every way they can,lasix is just the tip of the iceberg.
There are some people who will catch on, and some that won't. Until there is a permanent ban on lasix, it is still going to be used on race day, whether people like it or not.....
Give the horses a break after they bleed , he must not know how traumatic and stressed it is to a horse when he bleeds out the nose, his investment won't be worth nearly as much , most horses never come back as good as before, it's always a stress in their minds, so good luck guys, hope you all lose a fortune, pure and simple a group of EGO MANICS. It will be a built in excuse so more trainers can screw Barry Irwin out of some more money, well many not him but his partners !!!!!!
If a horse bleeds really bad you've just cheated the biggest stake holder in the game !! The Players. You know ,the guys that provide every dollar that the game survives on !! Of C-horse Barry Irwin is no stranger to cheating . Thats why his well bet horses usually just run around the track. There is more than one way to cheat and the easiest way is to just run around the track with a well bet horse. I won't be betting races with horses owned by those 40 in them. Wow! Its a who's who in the shady world of international finance, secret societies , & foreign despots.
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