05/02/2012 2:18PM

New York horsemen meet to discuss Lasix ban


The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association met on Wednesday morning at Belmont Park for 90 minutes to discuss the organization’s opposition to the proposed phase-out of the raceday use of the anti-bleeding medication furosemide, the association’s president said.

The meeting was called two days after the New York State Racing and Wagering Board said that it would open up a two-week comment period on proposed modifications to the current statutes governing the use of the drug, a diuretic that is legal to use on raceday in every jurisdiction in North America. Horsemen in New York have said that they are opposed to any phase-out of the use of the drug.

“We only have two weeks to respond, so we’re trying to rally the troops, to get all hands on deck,” Violette said. “It’s our opinion the science is fairly black and white, and we think [raceday use of furosemide] is an animal-welfare issue.”

Violette said the organization would respond formally to the proposal during the public comment period, and that the associations’ leadership urged individual trainers during the meeting to submit responses to the proposal. Together, the plans indicate that New York’s horsemen will remain in opposition to a phase-out, which is currently being supported by several national racing organizations, including the Jockey Club and the Breeders’ Cup.