05/03/2004 11:00PM

Texas changes Lasix policy


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Horses in Texas no longer have to be certified as bleeders before being placed on Lasix for the first time, according to an amended rule adopted by the Texas Racing Commission. It takes effect with entries on May 18.

The amendment enables trainers to place a horse on Lasix for the first time at the time of entry for a race, rather than going through the detailed process of proving that a horse experiences exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhaging, or bleeding.

In the past, candidates for first-time Lasix had to be scoped after the race in which they were believed to have bled, or after a workout, in order to establish that they were bleeders. The diagnosis had to be made by a commission-licensed veterinarian, and then certification was issued allowing the horse to be placed on Lasix.

The new policy bypasses that procedure, and is in line with some other racing jurisdictions around the country.

"The reality of it is, probably 95 percent of all Thoroughbred racehorses bleed at some point," said Dean Jacks, a racetrack veterinarian based at Lone Star. "So why should we go through the process of having to make a horse bleed to confirm that he's a bleeder just for some arbitrary paperwork? There's scientific studies that have proven 90 to 95 percent are bleeders.

"We don't want a horse to bleed because it's detrimental to a horse's health, yet to establish the fact that he's a bleeder in the past we had to, quote, 'let them bleed.' "

"I think it's a humane approach," said Jerry Burgess, a state steward at Lone Star.

In another Lasix-related amendment, once a horse comes off the Lasix program, he cannot run on Lasix again for 60 days, said Paula Flowerday, executive director of the Texas Racing Commission.

Several riders shuffling bases

Jamie Theriot, who has been a regular rider for leading trainer Cole Norman, has moved his tack to Evangeline Downs near Lafayette, La., agent Jerry Reites confirmed. Reites represented Theriot at Lone Star.

Theriot was tied for eighth in the Lone Star standings through Tuesday and is a past title winner at Evangeline, his home track, as well as at Oaklawn Park. Last year, he was third in the standings at Lone Star.

Reites said John Jacinto, whom he represents, is headed to Louisiana Downs soon. That meet opens on May 14. Jacinto has ridden several winners at Lone Star for Norman, and ranked third in the standings behind leader Roman Chapa through Tuesday.

Chapa is also headed to Louisiana Downs next week, but will return to Lone Star for some races, said his agent, Richie Price. Price also represents the Louisiana Downs-bound Lonnie Meche.

Lone Star Deputy battles Norman entry

Lone Star Deputy, a stakes winner last year at Lone Star, will have to overcome the Cole Norman-trained entry of Cajole and Ba Ba Boom to win the featured eighth race Thursday night. A 7 1/2-furlong turf allowance, the two-other-than race drew nine runners and carries a purse of $27,000.

Lone Star Deputy will be making his third start back from a layoff, and appears to be coming into a peak race. In his last start, he missed by a nose in a $25,000 turf claimer at Fair Grounds. Lone Star Deputy will be returning to the site of his biggest win Thursday, as he captured the $100,000 Grand Prairie Turf Challenge last year at Lone Star. Eddie Martin Jr. was aboard for that win, and has the mount Thursday for Coast to Coast Racing Fund.

Cajole just missed in his last start, finishing second by a neck at this level. Jacinto has the mount, while Chapa will be aboard Ba Ba Boom. In his last start, Ba Ba Boom, who is making his turf debut, won an entry-level allowance at Oaklawn. Both horses race for Gary and Mary West Stables.