LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A coalition of leading thoroughbred racing associations and organizations announced Thursday a new initiative committed to phasing out the use of the medication Furosemide, commonly known as Lasix, beginning next year and eliminating the use of Lasix in stakes races held at their racetracks beginning in 2021.
Coalition racetracks that have signed on to the initiative include all tracks owned or operated by Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI), the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA), and The Stronach Group as well as Del Mar, Keeneland, Lone Star Park and Remington Park, Los Alamitos Racecourse (Thoroughbred), Oaklawn Park and Tampa Bay Downs. The coalition tracks represent 86 percent of the stakes races assigned graded or listed status in the United States in 2018. The tracks will work diligently with their respective horsemen’s associations and racing commissions toward implementing the effort.
Starting on Jan. 1, 2020, 2-year old horses would not be allowed to be treated with Lasix within 24 hours of a race. And the following year, the same prohibition would extend to all horses participating in any stakes races at coalition tracks. Accordingly, in 2021, the races comprising the Triple Crown would all be run under the new rules regarding race-day medication.
Breeders’ Cup Limited, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders’ Association (TOBA) and the American Graded Stakes Committee of TOBA, and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association also have joined the coalition in support of the new policy.
“Over the past several years, we have met with numerous stakeholders to drive action on many of our sport’s central issues,” said Bill Carstanjen, chief executive officer of CDI. “This is a significant and meaningful step to further harmonize American racing with international standards. We will continue to work with other stakeholders, including our horsemen and regulatory agencies, to fully implement this and other important reforms.”