Breeders' Cup Will Not Expand Furosemide Ban in 2013

Breeders' Cup Will Not Expand Furosemide Ban in 2013

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

Breeders' Cup will not expand its prohibition of furosemide, also called Salix or Lasix, to additional championship races this year, but opted to continue last year's policy of banning the diuretic in juvenile races and allowing it in all others.

The board held a teleconference meeting March 1, one week after meeting in Florida. The earlier meeting produced discussion of medication but no action.

Breeders' Cup had planned to expand a ban on race-day furosemide to all of its races in 2013, but board members voted to maintain the 2012 policy. That policy prohibits Salix use in Breeders' Cup races for 2-year-olds but allows it in all other races.

Breeders' Cup board members called for more study on the diuretic used to prevent or lessen the severity of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH) in Thoroughbreds. The board pledged funding and called upon other Thoroughbred racing organizations to support an industry-wide independent study of the causes, effects, and potential alternative methods of reducing the occurrence of EIPH in racehorses.

"We recognize that there has been great divisiveness in our industry over medication rules, but joining together in the common goal of independent scientific research of the effects of race-day medications, coupled with industry pursuit of uniform rules, will move us toward eliminating such divisions," said Breeders' Cup chairman Tom Ludt. "Our board feels this measure, keeping the policy in place for the juvenile races and maintaining the 2012 policy on the remaining races, is the most practical course of action at this time."

Like last year, in Breeders' Cup races that permit Salix, it will be administered only by veterinarians authorized by the California Horse Racing Board and approved by Breeders' Cup. This year's Breeders' Cup World Championships will take place Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.

In its release, Breeders' Cup said that over the last decade it has taken a leading industry position in the areas of out-of-competition testing, security, pre-race exams, and post-race drug testing for its championships. All horses competing in this year's championships will be monitored for 72 hours prior to post time of the horse's race.

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