Kentucky Race-Day Drug Rules Will Change Sept. 4

Furosemide will be the only medication permitted on race day in Kentucky effective Sept. 4, and the drug will be administered by regulatory veterinarians only under new Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) rules.

Adjunct bleeder medications such as Amicar, Tranex, Estrone, and Kentucky Red will no longer be permitted to be administered within 24 hours of a race. The Ellis Park meet ends Sept. 3 in Henderson, Ky., and the Turfway Park meet begins Sept. 6 in Florence, Ky.

According to a KHRC memo to horsemen, furosemide, also called Salix or Lasix, will be administered to horses in their stalls. Horses will be treated 4 to 4 1/2 hours before a race, and will not be treated after that deadline has passed.

The "default" dose for Salix is 250 milligrams. Trainers must inform the KHRC vets if a different dose should be administered; the acceptable range is 150-300 milligrams.

Trainers must have someone present with the horse at least 45 minutes prior to Salix administration. The fee for Salix administration is $20, but could be reduced "after review of costs associated with administration," the KHRC said.

Race-day administration of Salix and a ban on adjunct bleeder drugs on race day are part of an Association of Racing Commissioners International model rule that is being gradually adopted by racing jurisdictions.

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