Written by RON MITCHELL
An effort to make Kentucky the first state to ban the anti-bleeder medication furosemide for racing purposes failed April 16 when the state’s Horse Racing Commission voted 7-7 not to approve a recommendation that would have phased out the controversial medication over a three-year period.
The measure, approved by the commission’s Race-Day Medication meeting just prior to the full commission meeting, would have prohibited administration of the medication, marketed as Salix and previously known as Lasix, within 24 hours of a race, beginning with 2-year-olds in 2013 and phased in until it applied to all horses racing in the Bluegrass State by 2015.
Following the failure of the ban, an amended version of the regulation proposed by commissioner Tom Ludt that would have had the phase-in of the Salix ban apply only to stakes for 2-year-olds—not all races—in 2013 was tabled for 30 days. Ludt is chairman of the Breeders’ Cup, which has approved a ban on race-day medications for 2-year-olds in its championship races in 2012 and for all horses in 2013.