Last Friday afternoon, a group of 25 trainers, including some of New York’s top conditioners, released a statement declaring their support for a phase-out of the raceday medication furosemide by 2016. Among them are trainers, such as Todd Pletcher and Graham Motion, who have in the past advocated for use of the anti-bleeding medication.
Furosemide, also known as Lasix or Salix, is a diuretic frequently administered to horses in order to prevent pulmonary bleeding that can occur when capillaries in horses’ lungs burst as a result of the exertion from racing. Most horses in the United States race on it.
Opponents of the use of furosemide say that it’s a performance-enhancer and point out that almost no other racing jurisdiction in the world permits its use.
“We believe it’s time to take a proactive position regarding the administration of race day medication. American racing has always been a global leader, and it’s time to restore confidence in our game and in our international standing,” said Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas in the statement announcing the proposal.
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Photo credit for featured image NYRA/Susie Raisher