05/07/2012 2:32PM

No furosemide vote at Kentucky commission's May meeting


The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission will not call for a vote on a proposal to phase-out the raceday use of the anti-bleeding medication furosemide prior to stakes races run in the state at its upcoming May 16 meeting, the chairman of the panel announced on Monday.

Robert Beck, the chairman, said that the commission is scheduled to discuss the proposal at the meeting and assign the plan “to appropriate committees for further review and discussion,” but he also said that he would not seek a motion to approve or reject the plan. Beck said that the plan could be called for a vote at the June meeting of the commission, which typically meets once every month.

The plan to be discussed would ban the raceday use of furosemide as of the start of 2013 in any stakes race for 2-year-old horses. The ban would be extended to 3-year-old horses in 2014, and apply to all stakes races in 2015.

Last month, the commission abruptly called for a complete prohibition on the raceday use of the drug during a regular meeting. The ban failed when the commission deadlocked on the proposal, 7-7.

Since then, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board has opened a public comment period on a possible ban of the drug, a diuretic that is ubiquitously used in North American racing to treat bleeding in the lungs. In large part, horsemen oppose the ban, while breeders support it.