07/20/2012 10:42AM

Major owners make no-Lasix pledge for their 2-year-olds


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.

See the full list here

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 Casner began the effort after TOBA’s American Graded Stakes Committee rescinded a rule earlier this year that would have required a ban on raceday furosemide in 2-year-old stakes races this year in order for the stakes to retain their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.


Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
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
Robin Dawson More than 1 year ago
Coach..this isn't funny anymore. And the fact that someone with your warped sense of judgement and apparent pent up hostility has been allowed to coach young people is indeed worrying. The local authorities should be informed of your anger, which needs serious management.
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
LOL. Actually that is pretty funny. I haven't coached for a decade ,buttZ ... when I did I was well known & loved in the community. The local authorities :-) Ha Ha Ha. When I go to the Alumni game I'll be sure to notify some of them as many of my former players are Sherriffs, Policeman, Teachers, & Administrators ;-) One is a Mayor. LOL. I'd haZard a guess that I've been more of an asset to my community than you ever were in the far flung places that you've lived . Why don't you contact Will Farrish ! When you do, ask him about his daddy's investment bank that was taken over by FDR for fronting for the enemy. I'll say it again Robin . You aren't in my league when it comes to general knowledge . You are a one hit wonder with tunnel vision and one topic. You are wrong even on that one topic and you refuse to answer the important question while you try to cast aspersions and equate me with a mass murderer.;-( Very bad british taste Robin. They didn't allow me to coach young people. They wanted me to because my teams won and my players learned how to be good community members ! Something that can't be said for your horses. LOL. I never had to cry and make excuses about an unlevel playing field when playing against more affluent schools because I and my players worked hard enough to level it ! Once when the Principal jokingly said I was the *perfect example of a bad example * because I smoked,cussed ,chewed tobacco & bet on horses, I just laughed ,buttZ... a doZen alumni that were present got pretty offended and I had to tell them to calm down that she was only joking. They didn't know her as good as I did and they did know me since we were boys . Our players were never academically ineligable because we made them carry a report card around EVERY friday !! We knew more about how they were doing in school than most of their parents did and any problems were not allowed to fester for weeks before they were addressed. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it Robin. I'm still waiting for you to answer the question of Irwin's 4/5 shot Robin. Cat got your tongue ? BSB
Dennis Geier More than 1 year ago
Ange More than 1 year ago
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.
Wendy DeVier More than 1 year ago
just like taking the guns away from honest citizens, what happers?
James More than 1 year ago
did I miss Godolphin's name?
kingsailor2 More than 1 year ago
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.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
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.
Ultimatehorselover More than 1 year ago
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.....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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 !!!!!!
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
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.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Gotta wonder Jaws... What did you do and how did you feel about all this before lasix came around?
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
When I first went to the track it was long after Lasix *came around* ,buttZ... not long before it became legaliZed. My first time out I saw several come back bleeding from the nose in varying degrees ,buttZ... visable. I asked my older brother about it and he gave me a reasonable explanation of why ? In those days it was fairly common to see pps of a horse up the track that said *bled*. You rarely see that now & there is a reason for it. They still bleed ,buttZ... just not as bad. I didn't have a huge opinion on it then for a several reasons like, 1) I was a neophyte 2) I didn't know there was such a thing as lasix. 3) I was fascinated by the numbers , symbols & patterns in the PPs . I do remember that I didn't like guessing if a horse was going to be compromised by bleeding. Lasix is better for the players & its better for the horses. These rich stronaching owners just don't want to pay for it so they are pushing a return to the dark ages of witch doctor potions & folk remedies ??? They have the entire Animal Rights Lobby ( which they finance ) clamouring. They feign resistance for a while then capitulate (to what THEY wanted to begin with ) LOL. Its called Hegelian Theory. Thesis /anti- thesis/ synthesis. Its the way The Will Farrish's , Ogden Mills Phipps's ,etc keep the little people rounded up and doing what THEY want .
Sharon Call More than 1 year ago
First off, Jaws, furosemide or Lasix or Salix, whichever name you prefer, is one of the cheapest drugs attainable today. It's been around a very long time and is manufactured by a number of companies so to say rich owners don't want to pay for it, is a mis-statement. They could buy it buy the pound out of their pocket change. As for these owners funding animals rights groups, I wish I had known that. I belong to one of those groups and we've never seen a penny from any of these trainers or, for that matter, any trainer at all. If you're going to make statements like this, please make sure they are accurate first. Thanks.
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
You aren't a bettor so what you say doesn't matter Peta Girl. I said owners and you read trainers. Take a course in reading comprehension before you pop off. LOL. A stronaching Peta Girl telling me to be accurate. LOL . I forget more everyday about racing than you'll ever know. Thats not as hard as it sounds because you don't know anything about racing. Zip, Zero, Nada !!! You have a list of Peta talking points and any deviation from that leaves you dumbfounded. Did you watch Barry Irwin's 4/5 shot never lift a hoof without lasix yesterday ? No you didn't, because you have no interest in racing . You are about the militant animal rights agenda. Do you know anything about the background of Phipps or Farrish or any of the scum on that list. Yep I said SCUM ! Not only cream rises to the top Peta Girl . You aren't in my league when it comes to knowledge of any kind. Don't try to put your 100 IQ up against my 160 IQ . I'm Gr I you are a $1500 mdn claimer. Now go back and tell your *group* what mean old BSB said to you Peta Girl. . Bring them all back here to put thumb downs on my posts. LOL. Sincerly, mean ol' BSB
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey Jaws may I suggest you take up cock-fighting or dog-fighting. What will you do since your whole handicapping skill was based upon the letter "L" appears, or better yet a cirlced "L" oh my get my wallet out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey Jaws what will you do since your whole handicapping skill was based upon the letter "L" appears, or better yet a cirlced "L" oh my get my wallet out!
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
You have no idea what my skills are. I didn't have to give lasix a 2nd thought since they all get it. I'll stronaching garuantee my skills are of a far greater level than yours are PETA BOY ! I already told you what I'll do in the first post. Not a very good reader are you ? I won't give any of my action to races that have those owners participating.
Robin Dawson More than 1 year ago
Hey Coach...I'm afraid you've hit a nerve here, pal. Being a baseball man, though, and therefore championing the World Series (which is anything but) I guess its not surporising that your myopic view is that the sport of horse racing begins and ends in the good 'ol USA? What is at issue here is the general welfare of horses...not your ability to handicap them satisfactorily. And, as everyone knows (including the owners who have pledged to abstain from using Lasix on their 2-y-olds) its about time someone did something about the rapid deterioration of the North American-based racehorse, otherwise he/she will fade into irrelevance in the global picture. Having worked in racing in Europe and North America, I know a bit about what goes on and the fact is that real horsemen are few and far between in the latter, where ' chemist ', ' mechanic ' or ' racer ' would be better descriptions than trainer or horseman.. Sure, horses bleed in other countries but the remedy is to excercise restraint, patience and compassion. Now this is what is really expensive, from an owners perspective. Not paying for a few ccs of Lasix....the quick, cheap and ultimately destructive fix.
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
Robin Dawson, I coached amatuers some of whom became professionals . Many used their baseball skills to go to college which most of my players could not have afforded otherwise as 90% of them were brown. ButtZ ... since you brought it up there really isn't much of an argument that some poor shlubs are being excluded from the MLB world series. (the North Umberland cricket club perhaps :) They call soccer the World cup . LOL. As if any self respecting American cares about soccer or any decent American athlete would stoop to playing it. LOL. Tell me how good it was for the welfare of Irwin's 4/5 shot filly at Colonial yesterday Robin ??? (DON'T TRY TO SKIP ANSWERING THAT ONE PETA BOY ) Tell me how good it was for the suckers that bet that ? It was good for Irwin because he knew his horse wouldn't run a lick so he could eliminate the favorite from his wagers . LOL. Just like I said he would ! You may know how to feed & water a horse buttZ... that don't make you a horsemen . You damn sure can't stay ahead of the game from wagering ,thats why you claim take doesn't matter. That's why you are a color man. (admit it Robin) Of C-horse it doesn't matter to a loser like you. You can't make any money betting anyway. This isn't Dubai. Racing cannot exist in America without betting . So saying its good for the horse is baloney. Instead of popping off maybe you should educate yourself on the wagering ban of the early 20th century and see how much people in America cared about watching horses run around without betting ??? You are bitter because you couldn't cut it and you want to blame it on others cheating etc. You want to race without lasix ? Go back to from where you came. Simple.
Robin Dawson More than 1 year ago
Boy...have you got a problem Coach....As long as there are angry people like you about (like the nutcase in Aurora this past week) racing has absolutely no chance.
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
Get a clue , I have kids & grandchildren of my own . You didn't answer the question. How good was it for the welfare of that filly ?