BILL SHANKLIN writes:
“. . . the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission voted on the phase out of furosemide on race-day in the Bluegrass state. The result was not reform, but “business as usual.”
Furosemide (Lasix / Salix) is the anti-bleeder medication injected on raceday into nearly every Thoroughbred in America.
Shanklin quotes an Associated Press report that explains:
“The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission ended the tense discussion [Monday, April 16, 2012] on the use of furosemide with a 7-7 roll call vote on the proposed regulation that would have prohibited the drug from the Kentucky Derby in 2014, and in the whole state starting in 2015. The race-day ban would have first applied to 2-year-olds racing in 2013…The proposal would have made Kentucky the first state to ban race-day use of furosemide, marketed under the brand names Lasix or Salix.”
You got that right on the business as usual, but here is the interesting bit. Touted as the most pro-horse racing Governor ever, Beshear could influence the decision on whether or not to ban furosemide in Kentucky horse racing.
Kentucky Revised Statute 230.225 specifies that Kentucky Horse Racing Commission members are appointments by the governor for 3-year terms. Consequently, by the end of Governor Steve Beshear’s term of office in December 2015, he will have had the opportunity to replace every sitting member.
The next one or two vacancies on the Commission will be of utmost importance because the people appointed can break the tie on the Lasix issue. Governor Beshear will undoubtedly be under intense pressure from advocates on both sides.
Shanklin concludes with this:
If racing’s image can’t be rehabilitated in the horse breeding and sales capital of the United States, the mission is lost.
Now all we need do is wait and see if Governor Beshear has the vision, and courage, to do it.
In a related story, KHRC Chairman Bob told the Lexington Herald-Leader that he does not think this is the end of it, and expects another vote in a month’s time, but on a limited version of the original provision which bans the use of Lasix on racedays outright.
Bill Shanklin operates the website www.horseracingbusiness.com.