Alliance: Trainers, vets obstruct needed medication changes

  • click above & share!
    X
  • click above & share!
    X


  • click above & share!
    X
  • click above & share!
    X
Water Hay Oats Alliance Water Hay Oats Alliance

The following commentary was submitted by the Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA), an organization supporting federal legislation to amend the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 that would prohibit raceday use of medication in racehorses. WHOA’s supporters include Arthur and Staci Hancock of Stone Farm; George Strawbridge of Augustin Stable; Roy and Gretchen Jackson of Lael Stable; Dr. Gregory Ferraro, director of the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine’s Center for Equine Health; Charlotte C. Weber of Live Oak Stud; Lincoln Collins, president of Kern Thoroughbreds; and Barry Irwin, CEO of Team Valor International.

The future of the American horse industry, particularly the horseracing segment that is by far its largest employer and economic engine, is bleak for precisely the same reason that the nation cannot stem the rising cost of the world’s most expensive health care system.  Both are locked in a business pattern where the controlling interests benefit at the expense of the powerless players.  And just like the check writers in the human health care system, the very foundation of the horse business-the owners and breeders-are finding the endeavor increasingly unaffordable and out of their control.  Only the horses are more helpless.


In an effort to stop the sport’s slide toward oblivion, industry reformers and other advocates for the horse have waged a vigorous campaign to clean up the industry and the vile and damaging drug culture associated with equine competition. Some progress has been made.  Efforts to curtail the steroids and growth hormones that have proven a pathway to disaster for the North American Thoroughbred have been partially successful. And after years of turning a blind eye, Thoroughbred racing organizations including the Jockey Club, TOBA and the Breeder’s Cup have finally stepped up to at least express a willingness to change things. But at this rate, real reform will take years to accomplish.

Under pressure from within their own ranks and from influential media outside, industry representatives have come forward with proposed drug reforms that have been adopted by some states but have been ignored or blocked in others. Unfortunately, these efforts continue to be opposed at every turn by most trainers and track veterinarians, who just like insurance companies and human health care providers, do not believe reform to be in their best economic interests.

The critical issue of race day medication – administering the powerful and ultimately debilitating diuretic furosemide and accompanying painkillers – remains unresolved.  Once again North American racing will go into a new year as the world’s only major racing jurisdiction that allows this practice, and the only one with no legal means of banishing for life or even severely punishing the cheating by unscrupulous trainers, veterinarians, and the owners who support them.  Meanwhile, the continued abuse of these wonderful and heroic animals, if not constrained, will most certainly lead to efforts by other groups to curtail racing altogether.

While some state regulating agencies have tightened drug rules and declared war on the cheaters, only Kentucky (which long had the reputation of being soft on drug control) has stepped forward to support decisions by the Breeder’s Cup, the Graded Stakes Committee of TOBA, and the recommendation of the Jockey Club to take steps to end race day medications. With no other state following suit, however, Kentucky is likely to back away from its commitment or at least postpone it.

This is par for the course of industry history.  So-called “horsemen’s groups” and the veterinarians on which many trainers depend for their knowledge of drugs, are wedded to the status quo.  For the track vets, change could mean the loss of hundreds of millions of revenue generated by their pharmaceuticals, as well as the services necessary to support these racing medications…all of which comes from the owners pockets. It is only the owners who suffer the economic impact of run-away costs and declining racing starts (45 average lifetime starts in 1950 and only 15 average lifetime starts today) for their horses, leaving them to beg for slot machines to subsidize their increased cost and reduced racing purses attendant to the declining number of starts.
               
And trainers, who bear none of the vet or drug costs, have no incentive to change, and some trainers clearly view the use of drugs as a way of gaining a competitve advantage over drug-free horses.  Many modern trainers have never trained without these drugs. They appear to have no idea that contrary to claims that furosemide is in the horse’s best interest, it may well be the one factor most responsible for the bone and joint related injuries that plague the sport and increase the vet bills that are already a burden to owners.   To realize this requires only an elementary education on how repeated doses of this powerful diuretic interrupt bone maturation at precisely the time in a young horse’s life when it is trying to build bone strength and density.   

Racetracks, meanwhile, whose growth and profitability is continually threatened by racing’s public image as a drug-ridden and inhumane sport, appear to be caught between the obvious need for reform and the opposition of horsemen’s groups with whom they are legally bound in partnership.

If, like the trainers, track owners could be handed absolute proof that tragic breakdowns are the result of repeated bone-weakening injections given on their property, they might become more active reformers.  Today, however, both segments are united in the fear that banning race day medications will result in a further decline in the size of fields and an accompanying loss of gambling revenue.

And so, Thoroughbred racing ends the year with more image-shattering reports that horse meat from slaughtered former racehorses is shamefully so replete with a multitide of varied drugs that foreign consumers no longer want to buy it.  A racehorse drugged and slaughtered is a shameful commentary on our once noble Sport of Kings.

There is, however, a way to correct the situation. Though unsettling to some, the answer lies with the uniformity of federal regulation. Languishing in the bowels of the United States Congress is an amendment to the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 (IHIA, The Interstate Horseracing Improvement Act) that will give horseracing the federal authority required to police itself, as other sports do, and give owners and breeders control over how their horses are being treated and how their money is being spent. All the amendment needs is unity among thoroughbred owners and breeders who will step forward and take back the future of an industry once storied in tradition and glory.                 

New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry
  • GB

    Imagine that……Vets and trainers……Who actually knows the most about horses???

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/O6CXELTQMV5H5OEO6PH7TUKNBA Ian

      GB , don’t be an apologist for the vets and trainers.
      As this excellent article so eloquently put it, they are the ones who are most wedded to the status quo. They are the middle men in the whole show who don’t put any of their own money at risk, unlike the breeder, owner and bettor.

      • GB

         Ian,  I’m not being an apologist at all.  They are what many call “horsemen”.  Unless you are filthy rich, which there is nothing wrong with, you need to make some money back with your horses.  I’m all for restricted use pf tapping, but if you are a new owner and spend $100K at a sale for three horses, two of which bleed,  Then you are out of the business.

        • Jim

          That’s the point, GB. You identify which horses bleed on the track so you don’t retire them to stud and perpetuate that flaw into the gene pool. You don’t compensate for that shortcoming and present something that isn’t real, a la Barry Bonds and Jose Conseco. Remember, we’re supposed to be trying to improve the breed, not just enlist stud prospects in a purely commercial endeavor.

          • tfly

            Jim,
            You say ‘we’re suppose …improve the breed.’  Who’s the ‘we?’  Whatever group that is, there are those within that group that are only interested in their own fin. well being.  As an example- look at some of the leading owners – and look at the trainers they employ.  Yet everyone vents about Dutrow?

        • Sean Kerr

           But that is the rub isn’t it GB about the purchase: where is the consumer information that will help a bloodstock investor make a truly informed decision? Several G1 level trainers have told me that certain stallions absolutely pass on bleeders. They know this because they have trained the great-grandsires, grandsires, sires and their progeny. It makes me sick because these trainers are in a catch-22: if they tell the public who those stallions are, then the trainers run the risk of getting black balled. I hope everyone can forgive this notion, but I have no sympathy for anyone paying $100k or more for a potential racehorse. Look at how many $100k to $1MM horses you see in the claiming races. If anyone is cavalier enough to pay those prices on horses that are likely inferior then that is their problem. Too many of the sales horses  come from 3-4 generations of over medication to mask the faults. And that is the dirty little secret of the bloodstock industry and we all turn a blind eye to it. I wonder how long it will be before Australia starts to complain about how their bloodstock has become less sound after shuttling so many injured 3 year old stallions to the land down under.

    • kyle

      Your comment doesn’t strike me as very thoughtful, GB. The knowledge of the vet and trainer is, generally, a limited mechanistic, materialistic, capitalistic knowledge. It serves their ends. Nothing wrong with that as long as it’s checked. The problem is they have a stranglehold on the game. And their short-term interests stand in the way of the game’s long-term health.

  • GB

    Imagine that……Vets and trainers……Who actually knows the most about horses???

  • Confused and Frustrated

    So this is yet another story in which rumor, innuendo, and lack of fact is liberally sprinkled into a story that supports our quest to clean up and present a fresh, healthy image of our sport!!  I am a strong and passionate supporter of horse racing, responsible theraputic medications for well conditioned racing animals and support stringent and rigid enforcement protocols for violaters.  We do need to worry about our “racing image” – but articles like do not help get us where we need to be.  i am sick and tired of this kind of story though…..

    You had me nodding yes in the first couple paragraphs,but I began getting a little concerned as the descriptions got more dire and exaggerated the further I read.  You lost me totally when the story spouted facts about “it may well be the one factor most responsible for the bone and joint related injuries that plague the sport and increase the vet bills that are already a burden to owners.   To realize this requires only an elementary education on how repeated doses of this powerful diuretic interrupt bone maturation at precisely the time in a young horse’s life when it is trying to build bone strength and density.” 

    I’m not advocating Lasix, nor totally against the drug………but WE WILL NEVER solve the debate by representations that are not completely based in fact and just because you think it, does not make it so!!  Maybe I’m getting too old but I remember when everyone was on the pushing edge to sell the expanded policy of allowing more lasix based on studies that the benefits greatly outweighed the risks…….where ARE the new studies???  Do the claims of harm to young horses mean that it is ok to use with “old” horses that already have bone?  Are there studies to show us that in this modern age of medicine the bleeding is no longer the concern it was when we were all on the allow lasix band wagon?  I don’t what to know what you think, or what an elementary education allows you to surmise….I want facts!!!!  And same thing on theraputics…….remember when all the alphabet groups (NTRA, Jockey Club, ARCI, NAPRA, HBPA, AQHA, and so on) joined up to create RMTC to review theraputics and set levels and urged everyone to leave 0 tolerance and go to threshholds because it was in the best interest of the horse???  What facts changed to make us run backwards with no regard for health or welfare of the athletes in a desperate race to return to oats/hay/ and water? 

    I find it hard to believe anyone can think that the Fed’s can better regulate racing when they let us fall over the cliff fiscally speaking this past week and with at least a years notice of what would happen if they didn’t do something;  they can’t even put together a comprehensive policy on health care, and they have blown thru our social security with reckless abandon. 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/O6CXELTQMV5H5OEO6PH7TUKNBA Ian

      Confused and Frustrated, Let me simplify it for you, 
      “Once again North American racing will go into the new year as the only major racing jurisdiction that allows Lasix”

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GM4MKOH3SRM3GAZLMIKOOOAI74 jttf

       lasix has been in regular use since the early 1990s.   most trainers and vets still have not figured out it is better to rest your male lasix horses 5 weeks between races.  no wonder you are confused.  look at all of the horse of year award winners of recent times.   do the h.o.y. horses use lasix more than twice when they are 2 years old ?   heck no.     why dont breeders cup juvenile winners improve when they are 3 years old ?   lasix is stunting their growth.  the vets and trainers wont even allow a simple fix for the performance enhancing advantage that lasix creates.  just add 7 more pounds to the saddle of lasix using horses.  so simple, that even a caveman could figure it out.

    • Wantsanswers

      WHOA may not have their facts straight regarding Lasix causing calcium depletion and weakening of bone. Lasix is a loop diuretic, and Wikipedia notes that it does not cause calcium loss.  Don’t think that Wikipedia has a dog in this fight!

    • Andy

       Let’s talk about making blanket statements with no facts behind it — or faulty so-called “facts.”  How have we “blown through our social security” when the system is $2.5 trillion in the black? Yes it is being slowly depleted, but it will take decades to do so AND the surplus will begin to grow again once the economy improves. This is per Stephen Goss, chief actuary of the Social Services Administration in 2010.  Pot. Kettle. Black.

      • kyle

        You’re not serious are you, Andy? While SSI has taken in more than it has paid out that surplus hasn’t been saved; it has been “blown.” What remains are ious from a gov’t $16 trillion in debt. And starting in 2018 or thereabouts, regardless of how the economy does due to demographics, the fund will go into the red. Those are the facts.

        • Smartyvenus

           Just because the Congress “blows” the excess doesn’t mean the SSI is broken. It’s just time to raise the cut-off above $109,000 (especially those who believe the BS are the ones who voted for a candidate that thinks $250K is “middle class”).

    • Also confused

      The WHOA alliance says KY is the only state to comply with new medication rules.  I thought NY was complying too.  Isn’t it?

    • Mjohn6204

      Well said.

  • Confused and Frustrated

    So this is yet another story in which rumor, innuendo, and lack of fact is liberally sprinkled into a story that supports our quest to clean up and present a fresh, healthy image of our sport!!  I am a strong and passionate supporter of horse racing, responsible theraputic medications for well conditioned racing animals and support stringent and rigid enforcement protocols for violaters.  We do need to worry about our “racing image” – but articles like do not help get us where we need to be.  i am sick and tired of this kind of story though…..

    You had me nodding yes in the first couple paragraphs,but I began getting a little concerned as the descriptions got more dire and exaggerated the further I read.  You lost me totally when the story spouted facts about “it may well be the one factor most responsible for the bone and joint related injuries that plague the sport and increase the vet bills that are already a burden to owners.   To realize this requires only an elementary education on how repeated doses of this powerful diuretic interrupt bone maturation at precisely the time in a young horse’s life when it is trying to build bone strength and density.” 

    I’m not advocating Lasix, nor totally against the drug………but WE WILL NEVER solve the debate by representations that are not completely based in fact and just because you think it, does not make it so!!  Maybe I’m getting too old but I remember when everyone was on the pushing edge to sell the expanded policy of allowing more lasix based on studies that the benefits greatly outweighed the risks…….where ARE the new studies???  Do the claims of harm to young horses mean that it is ok to use with “old” horses that already have bone?  Are there studies to show us that in this modern age of medicine the bleeding is no longer the concern it was when we were all on the allow lasix band wagon?  I don’t what to know what you think, or what an elementary education allows you to surmise….I want facts!!!!  And same thing on theraputics…….remember when all the alphabet groups (NTRA, Jockey Club, ARCI, NAPRA, HBPA, AQHA, and so on) joined up to create RMTC to review theraputics and set levels and urged everyone to leave 0 tolerance and go to threshholds because it was in the best interest of the horse???  What facts changed to make us run backwards with no regard for health or welfare of the athletes in a desperate race to return to oats/hay/ and water? 

    I find it hard to believe anyone can think that the Fed’s can better regulate racing when they let us fall over the cliff fiscally speaking this past week and with at least a years notice of what would happen if they didn’t do something;  they can’t even put together a comprehensive policy on health care, and they have blown thru our social security with reckless abandon. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/O6CXELTQMV5H5OEO6PH7TUKNBA Ian

    Confused and Frustrated, Let me simplify it for you, 
    “Once again North American racing will go into the new year as the only major racing jurisdiction that allows Lasix”

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/O6CXELTQMV5H5OEO6PH7TUKNBA Ian

    GB , don’t be an apologist for the vets and trainers.
    As this excellent article so eloquently put it, they are the ones who are most wedded to the status quo. They are the middle men in the whole show who don’t put any of their own money at risk, unlike the breeder, owner and bettor.

  • GB

     Ian,  I’m not being an apologist at all.  They are what many call “horsemen”.  Unless you are filthy rich, which there is nothing wrong with, you need to make some money back with your horses.  I’m all for restricted use pf tapping, but if you are a new owner and spend $100K at a sale for three horses, two of which bleed,  Then you are out of the business.

  • Jim

    That’s the point, GB. You identify which horses bleed on the track so you don’t retire them to stud and perpetuate that flaw into the gene pool. You don’t compensate for that shortcoming and present something that isn’t real, a la Barry Bonds and Jose Conseco. Remember, we’re supposed to be trying to improve the breed, not just enlist stud prospects in a purely commercial endeavor.

  • Jlstables

    Its really sad that people dont understand anything. People have taken lasix for 15 or 20 years without complications. How debilitating is it, if humans use it?

    • Rachel

      Humans are constantly monitored for calcium loss, kidney and liver damage when they use this for high blood pressure.

    • Stanley inman

      Jlstables;
      Not a fact.
      Human competitors not permitted to use diuretics on “game day”
      Considered performance enhancer by all
      Sport regulators.
      Not sure about World Wrestling Federation
      agree with your statemennt;
      ” it’s really sad that people don’t understand anything”

    • Hopefieldstables

       Oh the irony of this first sentence………

    • Janet Delcastillo

      People on lasix dont run races that push them to the extreme…they are usually old with preexisting heart issues…ask jockeys how they feel when taking lasix to lose weight…

      • Roisin

        You are right, Lasix in humans is only used to treat the symptoms of a disease, usually conjestive heart failure, which is most common in the elderly. Further, it is only administered intraveniously in emergency situations otherwise it is in pill form.

        Lasix given into the vein (the route used in horses) has a powerful diuretic effect and is more risky than the pill form.

         Studies can be biased, but one fact is a constant : drugs, without exeption, have side effects, whether readily apparent or only identified with monitoring over varying periods of time.

        The more insidious effects of the drugs can be surprising and more determental than the malady being treated !!! Lasix is no exepton.

        However, I do not believe these points/facts influence the dedicated users regardless of wheather the drug is being used to try and lessen or prevent EIPH or to give the horse the hoped for winning edge.

         They are not ALL bleeders and everyone knows that. Giving a drug to a horse solely because it may give the winning edge is drug abuse not to mention animal abuse.

        The situation boils down to a case of long term loss for short term gain.

        • nu-fan

          Roisin:  “They are not ALL bleeders and everyone knows that. Giving a drug to a horse solely because it may give the winning edge is drug abuse not to mention animal abuse.”  Yes!  The fact that about 99% of horses run on Lasix is indicative of the fact that trainers are running them for other reasons than “therapeutic.” They can’t all be bleeders. The many arguments for Lasix is purely BS and meant to muddy the waters.  It should be embarrassing for the horseracing industry that it has not been able to reach a national consensus on this point; this topic has been discussed for much too long.  Just from the video clips and articles, that I have come across, Lasix has been argued for at least 12 years.  That there hasn’t been a resolution by this time tells me that there are special interests involved.  Nothing more than that.  Perhaps, the horseracing industry needs to pay more attention to how the Baseball Writers’ Association of America handled today’s determination of not admitting anyone (Sosa, Clemens, or Bond) to the Hall of Fame.  Sometimes, one needs to separate the rubbish from what is real.

  • Jlstables

    Its really sad that people dont understand anything. People have taken lasix for 15 or 20 years without complications. How debilitating is it, if humans use it?

  • Rachel

    Humans are constantly monitored for calcium loss, kidney and liver damage when they use this for high blood pressure.

  • Stanley inman

    Jlstables;
    Not a fact.
    Human competitors not permitted to use diuretics on “game day”
    Considered performance enhancer by all
    Sport regulators.
    Not sure about World Wrestling Federation
    agree with your statemennt;
    ” it’s really sad that people don’t understand anything”

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GM4MKOH3SRM3GAZLMIKOOOAI74 jttf

     lasix has been in regular use since the early 1990s.   most trainers and vets still have not figured out it is better to rest your male lasix horses 5 weeks between races.  no wonder you are confused.  look at all of the horse of year award winners of recent times.   do the h.o.y. horses use lasix more than twice when they are 2 years old ?   heck no.     why dont breeders cup juvenile winners improve when they are 3 years old ?   lasix is stunting their growth.  the vets and trainers wont even allow a simple fix for the performance enhancing advantage that lasix creates.  just add 7 more pounds to the saddle of lasix using horses.  so simple, that even a caveman could figure it out.

  • Hopefieldstables

     Oh the irony of this first sentence………

  • Guest1

    A dying industry. No two ways about it. The great breeders of the past are now gone replaced by quick money investors. Hardly anyone wants to take the time to breed, train and developed classic distance horses who are sturdy and have stamina. The race is really in the breeding shed. Win early is the goal and to do that, the drugs are giving to young horses. Same reason why the great races of the past have been shortened. Shortened to accomodate these sprinters and milers who can barely run 9 furlongs. So what if they are frail and have no stamina. Just get me a couple of black type races as a 2 or 3 year old to put in a catalog and brag about it.

    These investors today are just squeezing the last drops that are left in this industy. An industry that is barely surviving because it’s biggest competitor (casinos) are propping them up.

    Let’s see now, if Wise Dan wins hoty, the last 4 hoty did not win one classic distance race of 10 furlongs on the year they won that award. Out of the four only 1 won an open G1 10 furlongs race ONCE.

    The great Alysheba won 6 ten furlongs open G1 races, came in 2nd twice and run in what?
    about 12 races of 10 furlongs or longer.

    Now I watch the restricted 10 furlongs Travers and these milers are gasping for breath and look like a bunch of drunks trying to find the finish line.

    Then those horses who has promise at the classic distance are ignored by our breeders like the plague. I guess it is too late now because there are fewer and fewer open G1 10 furlongs races available.

    Funny how the east brags about tradition when they do not have one open 2 turn G1 race at 10 furlong or longer.  But hey, they have the prestigious Met Mile, the stallion maker.

    A dead industry

    • Hossracergp

      It’s ironic that you mention Alysheba as being great since he was a lasix horse and one who received criticism for using it. The lasix druggie stuff is not new http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1067021/index.htm it’s the same old thing from Jan 1988.

      • Guest1

         Nothing ironic about it. At least Alysheba proved that he was a classic distance horse. Was it lasix? who knows? But this we know – that today even with lasix and all the drugs these horses are given they are distance challenged and their number of starts has decreased tremendously. Nope it is not the same old thing from Jan 1988, the horses today are not built like they used to be for whatever reason you want to pick.

        • Ben K McFadden

          Maybe, but not sure science has or would support your assertions.  It is difficult to train and produce 10+ furlong horses when there are so few races.  Is it because the horses cannot perform or the owners and trainers want early results and shortcut training methods?  Tracks write races to suit the “pound and sprint” school members. 

          Saying there are not many 10+ races doesn’t mean there aren’t 10+ horses.  There are many elsewhere in the world, and big percentage have American pedigrees.

          • LongTimeEconomist

            In their desire to card as many races with fields of six or more as possible, American racing secretaries long ago started subverting their condition books to the lesser trainers’ wishes and, some would say, to trainers’ increasingly diminished skills (a product of the rapid expansion of racing days back in the 70s and early 80s).

            Foreign trainers still are capable of getting a horse to win the first start of his career at 12 furlongs against previous winners or to win at two miles in his first start in five months. In America, I think you could count on one hand the number of trainers who are capable of either, even if there were such races carded.

             

          • http://www.theracehorseexperiment.com/ Maureen Tierney

            I agree.  I think lots of horses can go further but there are no races for them.  Races are written for speed horses, hence they just keep getting shorter and shorter.  And short races are also written because poor training and reliance on drugs does not a distance horse make.

          • Sean Kerr

             Further to that Maureen, I have read research that indicates that the sprinters (especially older geldings) bleed the most. So what do we do in America? Push Thoroughbreds to run like quarter-horses and claim we need medications to make them run. Unbelievable.

          • http://www.theracehorseexperiment.com/ Maureen Tierney

            I certainly believe that, and it makes sense.  Horses can travel very long distances at moderate speed.  100 miles in 10 hours.  But in nature they only sprinted for very short distances as a way to avoid predators.  Their systems did not really develop for sustained maximum speed.  Look at the cheetah – fastest land animal – for a hundred yards. 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GM4MKOH3SRM3GAZLMIKOOOAI74 jttf

       the east coast does have a 2 turn open grade 1 race.  the jockey club gold cup.  the race starts in the middle of the 1st turn and the 2nd turn is much longer than most tracks. 

      • LongTimeEconomist

        Ah yes, the Jockey Club Gold Cup. What a great race it was when it was two miles. The list of winners at two miles is filled with hall of Famers.

        And a one and a half turn race is not a two turn race. Ask the jockeys who have to start from post 10 on the turn.

    • Mjohn6204

      No Lasix in England yet the industry there is “deader” than the US. No Lasix in Australia yet horses are having fewer starts per year. Go look at the top Stallions in UK and Australia and US breeding is dominated in pedigrees yet their horses run on no Lasix. Drugs affect horses and humans differently, also the affect of drugs depend on how much you take in ratio with body weight. The dose in humans and horses are poles apart, 5cc for a 1200 lb horse and 80cc for a 170lb man under going heart surgery. A horse may get 4 to 6 shots of lasix per month, a human may take it everyday. Apples and Oranges!

      • Roisin

        To be more correct, the dose of a drug is measured in grains, millegrams, grams etc. A cc (cubic centimeter) is a liquid measurement ( 30cc = 1 ounce). It is not a drug dose. In other words, 5cc or 80cc does not tell anyone the drug dosage. To know the dose one must know the number of millegrams of Lasix contained in each cc.

        Some of of your other statements could be a little misleading too.

        • guest

           Roisin is correct. The amount of cc’s given does NOT indicate DOSE- it’s a liquid measurement only. Concentration of the drug in the liquid is what is relevant to dose.  For example 30cc (1 ounce) of Vodka versus 30cc of wine cooler. Same amount of alcohol?  No!

          One track cites the race horse dosage as “The Lasix dosage administered shall not exceed 250 mg. nor be less than 150 mg.”  While the average human dose ranges from 20mg- 80mg/day. ONLY in extreme cases, when water retention is life threatening (Cong. Heart Failure, kidney failure, for ex) will the dose be up to 600mg.day. But that is usually not long-term as the severity of the illness will eventually take their life. 

      • Sean Kerr

         I don’t think it is apples and oranges if you consider that the 5cc induces urination to the tune of 4% of body weight. That is a real issue.

  • Guest1

    A dying industry. No two ways about it. The great breeders of the past are now gone replaced by quick money investors. Hardly anyone wants to take the time to breed, train and developed classic distance horses who are sturdy and have stamina. The race is really in the breeding shed. Win early is the goal and to do that, the drugs are giving to young horses. Same reason why the great races of the past have been shortened. Shortened to accomodate these sprinters and milers who can barely run 9 furlongs. So what if they are frail and have no stamina. Just get me a couple of black type races as a 2 or 3 year old to put in a catalog and brag about it.

    These investors today are just squeezing the last drops that are left in this industy. An industry that is barely surviving because it’s biggest competitor (casinos) are propping them up.

    Let’s see now, if Wise Dan wins hoty, the last 4 hoty did not win one classic distance race of 10 furlongs on the year they won that award. Out of the four only 1 won an open G1 10 furlongs race ONCE.

    The great Alysheba won 6 ten furlongs open G1 races, came in 2nd twice and run in what?
    about 12 races of 10 furlongs or longer.

    Now I watch the restricted 10 furlongs Travers and these milers are gasping for breath and look like a bunch of drunks trying to find the finish line.

    Then those horses who has promise at the classic distance are ignored by our breeders like the plague. I guess it is too late now because there are fewer and fewer open G1 10 furlongs races available.

    Funny how the east brags about tradition when they do not have one open 2 turn G1 race at 10 furlong or longer.  But hey, they have the prestigious Met Mile, the stallion maker.

    A dead industry

  • Allan

     The whole lasix issue could be solved if the breeding industry did what is should be doing, breeding the best thoroughbred, quarter horse, or standardbrd possible which means the fewest possible defects possible; meaning start looking at bleeders as an  undesirable trait and keep the bleeders out of the breeding shed.  A South African study shows bleeding is hereditary.

    • Roisin

      Unfortunately, what you rightly suggest takes integrity ! Money is the driving force and the “winning” force. If the horse shows speed and some impressive wins it more than likely will be bred, regardless of EIPH and so the cycle continues…

      For many wealthy owners winning fules the ego and they ask no questions.

    • G. Rarick

       How can you weed bleeders from the gene pool when you don’t know who they are, since every horse is on lasix? One of the biggest problems with the race-day medications allowed is that no one knows WHAT the American thoroughbred is. Chemicals bred to chemicals.

  • Allan

     The whole lasix issue could be solved if the breeding industry did what is should be doing, breeding the best thoroughbred, quarter horse, or standardbrd possible which means the fewest possible defects possible; meaning start looking at bleeders as an  undesirable trait and keep the bleeders out of the breeding shed.  A South African study shows bleeding is hereditary.

  • tfly

    Jim,
    You say ‘we’re suppose …improve the breed.’  Who’s the ‘we?’  Whatever group that is, there are those within that group that are only interested in their own fin. well being.  As an example- look at some of the leading owners – and look at the trainers they employ.  Yet everyone vents about Dutrow?

  • Lou Baranello, Former Steward

    A great deal has been said in this commentary and I am not smart enough to determine what is fact and what is merely perception.  It absolutely amazes me that one of the groups has not sought to have a study done by unbiased qualified scientists, the results of which should put these allegations with no basis in fact to rest.  I my be unaware of reasons why such a study should not be done and if so I hope someone will please enlighten me.  This bickering between opposing sides could and probably will continue indefinitely if something of substance is not forthcoming from science.  A problem of this magnitude deserves a respectful scientific solution.

  • Lou Baranello, Former Steward

    A great deal has been said in this commentary and I am not smart enough to determine what is fact and what is merely perception.  It absolutely amazes me that one of the groups has not sought to have a study done by unbiased qualified scientists, the results of which should put these allegations with no basis in fact to rest.  I my be unaware of reasons why such a study should not be done and if so I hope someone will please enlighten me.  This bickering between opposing sides could and probably will continue indefinitely if something of substance is not forthcoming from science.  A problem of this magnitude deserves a respectful scientific solution.

  • Wantsanswers

    WHOA may not have their facts straight regarding Lasix causing calcium depletion and weakening of bone. Lasix is a loop diuretic, and Wikipedia notes that it does not cause calcium loss.  Don’t think that Wikipedia has a dog in this fight!

  • Hossracergp

    It’s ironic that you mention Alysheba as being great since he was a lasix horse and one who received criticism for using it. The lasix druggie stuff is not new http://sportsillustrated.cnn.c… it’s the same old thing from Jan 1988.

  • Andy

     Let’s talk about making blanket statements with no facts behind it — or faulty so-called “facts.”  How have we “blown through our social security” when the system is $2.5 trillion in the black? Yes it is being slowly depleted, but it will take decades to do so AND the surplus will begin to grow again once the economy improves. This is per Stephen Goss, chief actuary of the Social Services Administration in 2010.  Pot. Kettle. Black.

  • kyle

    You’re not serious are you, Andy? While SSI has taken in more than it has paid out that surplus hasn’t been saved; it has been “blown.” What remains are ious from a gov’t $16 trillion in debt. And starting in 2018 or thereabouts, regardless of how the economy does due to demographics, the fund will go into the red. Those are the facts.

  • Giacomo Fatolla

    We have a small stable and have bought plenty of fine yearlings and two year olds to race them, winning at a nice rate – better than 23%, with ove 50% in the money - since 1999.  We’ve won plenty of Graded Stakes at all levels. We provide the best possible care for our horses and monitor everything that goes into each horse’s system.  If it’s not clearly set forth on each monthly bill, we don’t pay it, and we’ve let trainers go who object to either that or our to our choice of vets.

    Before deciding to put the entire racing stable on lasix, we retained a researcher (with the help of our primary veterinarian) and sent her to the University of PA to do research on lasix, then read every available article and paper on the topic.  The binder she presented to us is three inches thick. 

    Anyone doing that would have to conclude that, just as Dale Romans always says (he has never trained for us), lasix prevents EIPH.  Period.  Anyone who owns a race horse can make that horse’s life better, prevent progressive lung damage from the EIPH (which almost all horses experience to some degree at high levels of exersise) by putting them on lasix before that exertion.

    Whether this is good for the “game” is an entirely diffferent issue. We applaud owners who heed Dale Romans’ advice and suggest that other influential owners who have allied with breeders wishing to sell more horses to Europeans reconsider and think of the well-being of the horse.

    The betting public, which makes our sport possible doesn’t give a damn, as they have already figured out all they need to know, and almost all horses they’ve been betting on have been running on lasix for years.

    • Stanley inman

      You’re right
      The public does give a dam and stays away,
      Because they see that we
      Don’t
      “give a dam”
      About the horse.

      Perfect circle, we are trying to
      Break;
      Is what we desire too much to ask?

      • Stanley inman

        “does not give a …”

    • nu-fan

      Giacomo Fatolla:  Sorry but this “fan” does pay attention and does not like to see the overwhelming number of horses running on Lasix or other drugs.  At least, not on raceday.  (I’m speaking therapeutic drugs.  Illegal drugs are totally verboten!) And, too many people that I speak with (these are outside the industry) assume that horses are drugged.  The horseracing industry has a very poor reputation and many of my friends will not go to races for that reason.  The betting public may be a different breed but they will adapt to changes that are needed regarding Lasix.  They will just change some of the variables that they need for wagering.

      • mynameisnotrelevantmywordsare

        Nu-Fan ,
          What makes you think anybody that has read your screeds believes you are a fan of racing rather than a PETA operative ?  Racing doesn’t need FANS ! It needs players and you aren’t one.  Neither are most of the posters at PR. A quick glance at the racing articles on PR substantiates that opinion. ZERO comments on those threads is the norm here.  Dead horses, Lasix, etc. have comments up the yang.

              The “betting public” makes this game/ industry go. Why don’t you check into how well racing worked when NO wagering was allowed in many states back in the early 20th century ?  Hancock should know about that if he knows anything about his family tree.

               FANS ? I’ve had my fill of imposters masquerading as so-called fans . Fans don’t contribute JACK to the game.  You weren’t around in the No-Lasix days , I was and I’ve seen plenty of horses bleed through the nostrils. At least three 2yr. olds bled at the BC .

               PLAYERS (not fans) wagered money on those & others that were not publicized and didn’t get what they paid for. [ a runner not compromised because he bled when that could have been prevented ] I myself did not bet any of the juvenile races which are my specialty !  My churn was down more than 50% on BC races, mainly because I don’t want to go back to THE BAD OLD DAYS.  

              Roughly 60% of the decline in handle was a decrease on the juvenile races as reported in DRF .  ( thats for you Stanley)

              As a Player I don’t need any more variables ,especially one that is as unpredictable as bleeding or not bleeding.  Ever increasing take-out to satisfy the greed of breeders & owners is what ails this industry. It drives the Players away, not lasix.     

              This propaganda piece plays fast and loose with its stats/ facts. 45 lifetime starts in 1950 blah blah blah.  In 1950 it took a horse like Citation making 45 or more starts to even approach  $1,000,000 in earnings . Today a baby earns that in a few races. 

                You people want horses to make more starts ?  Lower the purses & take-out and you’ll see the sales prices decline accordingly . You’ll see avg. starts increase. You’ll see handle increase. You won’t see attendance increase unless online wagering is outlawed.

                If horses were making an avg. of 45 lifetime starts in this day ,the same people crying about lasix would be here crying about the over use abuse of the horses.  Very few of you people have any understanding of the history of racing beyond your personal association with the game.  You couldn’t name 10 race horses from the 18th or 19th century without cheating and looking it up.  Of course FANS like you don’t need to know any of that to further your agendas.    

                You want to place blame for owners not making enough money (don’t make me laugh) place it on the Hancocks of this world making a fortune on commercially bred race horses at sales for over a century.

                  Finally, “its only the owners money ” LOL.  Its the Players money you arrogant wannabe kings. The Players [both winners & losers] supply the money . Choke on that if you can get that silver spoon out of your mouths long enough.   

                   

        • Roisin

          Yes, of course it took a horse like Citation 45 or more starts to come close to earning $1,000,000in 1950 !! There is this little thing called inflation !!

          And considering that minor fact one can not compare 1950 earnings to those of today.
           

        • Greenhawlaw

          Feel free to contact me anytime. I’m easy to find, but this week-end I’ll be churning the handle at the opening of beautiful Oaklawn Park!

          My only regret is that you wrote this post long after the P.E.T.A coalition had their usual rants and have since moved on, waiting on the next story regarding Lasix and other topics they feel are within their expertise.   Makes you wonder how the PR became the poster board for this group of misguided lost souls—and I made that clear to Ray in the opinion poll a few weeks back.  It’s no wonder that many of the horsemen and horsewomen who used to be PR regulars have abandoned ship and now refuse to engage with the nonsense espoused by this P.E.T.A banter.  I MISS MAGGIE!

          Mr. Sean Kerr makes a very valid point in his post—namely, there are no studies on point!   NUFF SAID!

          For those that care,  I’ll be at the track—not sitting around waiting on my next set of marching orders from P.E.T.A.! 

               

        • nu-fan

          I wonder what your stake in horseracing is?  Perhaps, you and others like you are the reason that this controversy regarding Lasix has been going on for so long.  In the meantime, fans keep disappearing.  Has very little to do with PETA, unless you think that they have such huge numbers to make that decline in attendance at the track.  And, oh, by the way, I am not a member of PETA. You make some very broad assumptions. Perhaps, you do not understand the general public. By the way, I may not always agree with Stanley but I do respect his opinion. He knows horses.

        • Stanley inman

          Mynameisnotrelevantmywordsare

          Fan or owner which came first?
          Let’s move the conversation on
          with the admission
          we all love horseracing
          We all want to be
          in the sport.

    • Murray Johnson

      Brilliant ! The general public in the USA Doesn’t care a rats ass about racing, so perception doesn’t stop a gambler betting. No one cares about the horse more than most Vets and Trainers, to say otherwise is ignorant and insulting to people who have worked their lifetime caring for horses.

  • Giacomo Fatolla

    We have a small stable and have bought plenty of fine yearlings and two year olds to race them, winning at a nice rate – better than 23%, with ove 50% in the money - since 1999.  We’ve won plenty of Graded Stakes at all levels. We provide the best possible care for our horses and monitor everything that goes into each horse’s system.  If it’s not clearly set forth on each monthly bill, we don’t pay it, and we’ve let trainers go who object to either that or our to our choice of vets.

    Before deciding to put the entire racing stable on lasix, we retained a researcher (with the help of our primary veterinarian) and sent her to the University of PA to do research on lasix, then read every available article and paper on the topic.  The binder she presented to us is three inches thick. 

    Anyone doing that would have to conclude that, just as Dale Romans always says (he has never trained for us), lasix prevents EIPH.  Period.  Anyone who owns a race horse can make that horse’s life better, prevent progressive lung damage from the EIPH (which almost all horses experience to some degree at high levels of exersise) by putting them on lasix before that exertion.

    Whether this is good for the “game” is an entirely diffferent issue. We applaud owners who heed Dale Romans’ advice and suggest that other influential owners who have allied with breeders wishing to sell more horses to Europeans reconsider and think of the well-being of the horse.

    The betting public, which makes our sport possible doesn’t give a damn, as they have already figured out all they need to know, and almost all horses they’ve been betting on have been running on lasix for years.

  • kyle

    Your comment doesn’t strike me as very thoughtful, GB. The knowledge of the vet and trainer is, generally, a limited mechanistic, materialistic, capitalistic knowledge. It serves their ends. Nothing wrong with that as long as it’s checked. The problem is they have a stranglehold on the game. And their short-term interests stand in the way of the game’s long-term health.

  • Also confused

    The WHOA alliance says KY is the only state to comply with new medication rules.  I thought NY was complying too.  Isn’t it?

  • Concerned Observer

    There is an old saying in business.  Does he have 20 years experience or 1 years experience 20 times. Far too many of the hands on horsemen I know, will  only do it just like they did it 20 years ago. They are unwilling to even consider the ramifications of what they are doing, and frankly they do not care so long as they keep getting paid for what they do.

    These trainers and vets are not bad people, but they sure do NOT have the vision to chart the future of the industry.

    We don’t ask truck drivers to design our road system or bridges.

  • Concerned Observer

    There is an old saying in business.  Does he have 20 years experience or 1 years experience 20 times. Far too many of the hands on horsemen I know, will  only do it just like they did it 20 years ago. They are unwilling to even consider the ramifications of what they are doing, and frankly they do not care so long as they keep getting paid for what they do.

    These trainers and vets are not bad people, but they sure do NOT have the vision to chart the future of the industry.

    We don’t ask truck drivers to design our road system or bridges.

  • Highgunner

    “These trainers and vets are not bad people, but they sure do NOT have the vision to chart the future of the industry.

    We don’t ask truck drivers to design our road system or bridges.” – Concerned Observer
     
    Excellent point. Leadership in the industry requires having a clear vision of the product we want to “sell”. Do we want to promote a product that requires race day medication in order to run. This point was discussed at the recent AAEP meeting in which the presenter was not against giving Lasix, but understood, it is very much a losing PR point for the industry and its veterinarians.

    Ken Lian, DVM
    President   Thoroughbred Education Foundation, Inc.
    @Highgunner:disqus

    • Highgunner

       Here is a reply from one of our board members after reading the article and Highgunner’s comment above.

      “The problem is they see the horse as a product! That’s why they don’t agree.”

      Ken Lian, DVM
      President   Thoroughbred Education Foundation, Inc.
      @251e7eb5cfb9afb58c1f10b07ce28d3d:disqus

  • Highgunner

    “These trainers and vets are not bad people, but they sure do NOT have the vision to chart the future of the industry.

    We don’t ask truck drivers to design our road system or bridges.” – Concerned Observer
     
    Excellent point. Leadership in the industry requires having a clear vision of the product we want to “sell”. Do we want to promote a product that requires race day medication in order to run. This point was discussed at the recent AAEP meeting in which the presenter was not against giving Lasix, but understood, it is very much a losing PR point for the industry and its veterinarians.

    Ken Lian, DVM
    President   Thoroughbred Education Foundation, Inc.
    @Highgunner

  • VGFarrell
  • Janet Delcastillo

    While living in the tropics in a small rural village in Colombia, I observed local drunk “cowboys” ride into town on their cow horses and run up and down the street, flailing their horses to go faster and show off. I saw more than one horse keel over with blood spurting out of the nostrils. These horses were pushed beyond their capabilities and therefore collapsed. 
    A trainer friend of mine was at endurance races in Dubai and saw various horses keel over and bleed after being pushed to run too hard in the heat. 
    I tend to think horses that bleed ( with exercise or racing…not if they have an infection of some kind) are running harder than their structure can support and therefore will bleed. The studies show that Lasix may effect the symptom but does not heal the horse or its problem…
    Being pushed beyond its intrinsic ability may cause a horse to bleed.

  • Janet Delcastillo

    While living in the tropics in a small rural village in Colombia, I observed local drunk “cowboys” ride into town on their cow horses and run up and down the street, flailing their horses to go faster and show off. I saw more than one horse keel over with blood spurting out of the nostrils. These horses were pushed beyond their capabilities and therefore collapsed. 
    A trainer friend of mine was at endurance races in Dubai and saw various horses keel over and bleed after being pushed to run too hard in the heat. 
    I tend to think horses that bleed ( with exercise or racing…not if they have an infection of some kind) are running harder than their structure can support and therefore will bleed. The studies show that Lasix may effect the symptom but does not heal the horse or its problem…
    Being pushed beyond its intrinsic ability may cause a horse to bleed.

  • Janet Delcastillo

    People on lasix dont run races that push them to the extreme…they are usually old with preexisting heart issues…ask jockeys how they feel when taking lasix to lose weight…

  • Guest1

     Nothing ironic about it. At least Alysheba proved that he was a classic distance horse. Was it lasix? who knows? But this we know – that today even with lasix and all the drugs these horses are given they are distance challenged and their number of starts has decreased tremendously. Nope it is not the same old thing from Jan 1988, the horses today are not built like they used to be for whatever reason you want to pick.

  • Mike

    a few elistists wihout a clue of the big picture/smaller owner/breeder/trainer, fools!!

    • Stanley inman

      Mike,
      Those against raceday meds includes the majority of the world,
      Much broader than your description.
      If we counted votes, it is the apologists that would have to make
      Convincing arguments,
      Not those who want to end the practice.
      Let’s just call it an experiment like this years breeders cup med-free races;
      Talk about pre-race predictions and what occurred.
      Tell me how horrible that experience was.

    • nu-fan

      Mike: A few “elitists”?  I see some pretty big names with prestigious backgrounds supporting these reforms.  What are your credentials?

  • Mike

    a few elistists wihout a clue of the big picture/smaller owner/breeder/trainer, fools!!

  • Roisin

    Unfortunately, what you rightly suggest takes integrity ! Money is the driving force and the “winning” force. If the horse shows speed and some impressive wins it more than likely will be bred, regardless of EIPH and so the cycle continues…

    For many wealthy owners winning fules the ego and they ask no questions.

  • Stanley inman

    Mike,
    Those against raceday meds includes the majority of the world,
    Much broader than your description.
    If we counted votes, it is the apologists that would have to make
    Convincing arguments,
    Not those who want to end the practice.
    Let’s just call it an experiment like this years breeders cup med-free races;
    Talk about pre-race predictions and what occurred.
    Tell me how horrible that experience was.

  • Stanley inman

    You’re right
    The public does give a dam and stays away,
    Because they see that we
    Don’t
    “give a dam”
    About the horse.

    Perfect circle, we are trying to
    Break;
    Is what we desire too much to ask?

  • Stanley inman

    “does not give a …”

  • nu-fan

    Mike: A few “elitists”?  I see some pretty big names with prestigious backgrounds supporting these reforms.  What are your credentials?

  • Noelle

    Leaving aside the question of what the science does or doesn’t prove about raceday Lasix, the notion that American horses must be drugged to race is a public relations disaster.  The obvious inference to be drawn from the continued insistence by
    some that American horses NEED Lasix is that something is very wrong with
    American racing and American Thoroughbreds. 

    Anyone who does a little research soon learns that foreign horses race without it.  I watch the big European racing and the Dubai World Cup.  I don’t recall seeing any of the horses coming off the track at any of those races in the condition Janet Delcastillo describes below. 

    Some horses bleed – obviously those horses should neither be raced nor bred.  Other horses stand up to the rigors of racing perfectly well.  Those are the horses who belong on the racetrack.

    • Allan

      They don’t care what the rest of the world does.  Lasix does stop EIPH and it is the easy way to deal with the problem.  With slots infused purses, no one is going to rest a horse more than they need to to get them on the track for the next start.

      If it is the style of racing which is causing the problem, then I suggest we adopt the European method of racing.  Otherwise, work on getting the bleeders out of the gene pool.  No one says it will be done overnight, but it you don’t start looking to get it out of the gene pool, it never will.

      • Sean Kerr

         Actually Allan – Salix does NOT stop EIPH. It can lesson most measures to some degree. Read Hinchcliffe’s South African study. EIPH was not eliminated – there was some indication that a level 3 came down to a 2, a 4 to a 3 or a 1 to a zero. If Salix stops EIPH, then how come so many horses bleed through the drug on race day?

  • Noelle

    Leaving aside the question of what the science does or doesn’t prove about raceday Lasix, the notion that American horses must be drugged to race is a public relations disaster.  The obvious inference to be drawn from the continued insistence by
    some that American horses NEED Lasix is that something is very wrong with
    American racing and American Thoroughbreds. 

    Anyone who does a little research soon learns that foreign horses race without it.  I watch the big European racing and the Dubai World Cup.  I don’t recall seeing any of the horses coming off the track at any of those races in the condition Janet Delcastillo describes below. 

    Some horses bleed – obviously those horses should neither be raced nor bred.  Other horses stand up to the rigors of racing perfectly well.  Those are the horses who belong on the racetrack.

  • nu-fan

    Giacomo Fatolla:  Sorry but this “fan” does pay attention and does not like to see the overwhelming number of horses running on Lasix or other drugs.  At least, not on raceday.  (I’m speaking therapeutic drugs.  Illegal drugs are totally verboten!) And, too many people that I speak with (these are outside the industry) assume that horses are drugged.  The horseracing industry has a very poor reputation and many of my friends will not go to races for that reason.  The betting public may be a different breed but they will adapt to changes that are needed regarding Lasix.  They will just change some of the variables that they need for wagering.

  • Roisin

    You are right, Lasix in humans is only used to treat the symptoms of a disease, usually conjestive heart failure, which is most common in the elderly. Further, it is only administered intraveniously in emergency situations otherwise it is in pill form.

    Lasix given into the vein (the route used in horses) has a powerful diuretic effect and is more risky than the pill form.

     Studies can be biased, but one fact is a constant : drugs, without exeption, have side effects, whether readily apparent or only identified with monitoring over varying periods of time.

    The more insidious effects of the drugs can be surprising and more determental than the malady being treated !!! Lasix is no exepton.

    However, I do not believe these points/facts influence the dedicated users regardless of wheather the drug is being used to try and lessen or prevent EIPH or to give the horse the hoped for winning edge.

     They are not ALL bleeders and everyone knows that. Giving a drug to a horse solely because it may give the winning edge is drug abuse not to mention animal abuse.

    The situation boils down to a case of long term loss for short term gain.

  • Highgunner

     Here is a reply from one of our board members after reading the article and Highgunner’s comment above.

    “The problem is they see the horse as a product! That’s why they don’t agree.”

    Ken Lian, DVM
    President   Thoroughbred Education Foundation, Inc.
    Highgunner

  • Allan

    They don’t care what the rest of the world does.  Lasix does stop EIPH and it is the easy way to deal with the problem.  With slots infused purses, no one is going to rest a horse more than they need to to get them on the track for the next start.

    If it is the style of racing which is causing the problem, then I suggest we adopt the European method of racing.  Otherwise, work on getting the bleeders out of the gene pool.  No one says it will be done overnight, but it you don’t start looking to get it out of the gene pool, it never will.

  • nu-fan

    Wantsanswers:  Please keep in mind that Wikipedia is not known to be totally accurate.  Most people know that.  I would never use it as a source for any argument. 

  • nu-fan

    Roisin:  “They are not ALL bleeders and everyone knows that. Giving a drug to a horse solely because it may give the winning edge is drug abuse not to mention animal abuse.”  Yes!  The fact that about 99% of horses run on Lasix is indicative of the fact that trainers are running them for other reasons than “therapeutic.” They can’t all be bleeders. The many arguments for Lasix is purely BS and meant to muddy the waters.  It should be embarrassing for the horseracing industry that it has not been able to reach a national consensus on this point; this topic has been discussed for much too long.  Just from the video clips and articles, that I have come across, Lasix has been argued for at least 12 years.  That there hasn’t been a resolution by this time tells me that there are special interests involved.  Nothing more than that.  Perhaps, the horseracing industry needs to pay more attention to how the Baseball Writers’ Association of America handled today’s determination of not admitting anyone (Sosa, Clemens, or Bond) to the Hall of Fame.  Sometimes, one needs to separate the rubbish from what is real.

  • Ben K McFadden

    Maybe, but not sure science has or would support your assertions.  It is difficult to train and produce 10+ furlong horses when there are so few races.  Is it because the horses cannot perform or the owners and trainers want early results and shortcut training methods?  Tracks write races to suit the “pound and sprint” school members. 

    Saying there are not many 10+ races doesn’t mean there aren’t 10+ horses.  There are many elsewhere in the world, and big percentage have American pedigrees.

  • G. Rarick

     How can you weed bleeders from the gene pool when you don’t know who they are, since every horse is on lasix? One of the biggest problems with the race-day medications allowed is that no one knows WHAT the American thoroughbred is. Chemicals bred to chemicals.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GM4MKOH3SRM3GAZLMIKOOOAI74 jttf

     the east coast does have a 2 turn open grade 1 race.  the jockey club gold cup.  the race starts in the middle of the 1st turn and the 2nd turn is much longer than most tracks. 

  • Murray Johnson

    Brilliant ! The general public in the USA Doesn’t care a rats ass about racing, so perception doesn’t stop a gambler betting. No one cares about the horse more than most Vets and Trainers, to say otherwise is ignorant and insulting to people who have worked their lifetime caring for horses.

  • Mjohn6204

    No Lasix in England yet the industry there is “deader” than the US. No Lasix in Australia yet horses are having fewer starts per year. Go look at the top Stallions in UK and Australia and US breeding is dominated in pedigrees yet their horses run on no Lasix. Drugs affect horses and humans differently, also the affect of drugs depend on how much you take in ratio with body weight. The dose in humans and horses are poles apart, 5cc for a 1200 lb horse and 80cc for a 170lb man under going heart surgery. A horse may get 4 to 6 shots of lasix per month, a human may take it everyday. Apples and Oranges!

  • Mjohn6204

    Well said.

  • Smartyvenus

     Just because the Congress “blows” the excess doesn’t mean the SSI is broken. It’s just time to raise the cut-off above $109,000 (especially those who believe the BS are the ones who voted for a candidate that thinks $250K is “middle class”).

  • mynameisnotrelevantmywordsare

    Nu-Fan ,
      What makes you think anybody that has read your screeds believes you are a fan of racing rather than a PETA operative ?  Racing doesn’t need FANS ! It needs players and you aren’t one.  Neither are most of the posters at PR. A quick glance at the racing articles on PR substantiates that opinion. ZERO comments on those threads is the norm here.  Dead horses, Lasix, etc. have comments up the yang.

          The “betting public” makes this game/ industry go. Why don’t you check into how well racing worked when NO wagering was allowed in many states back in the early 20th century ?  Hancock should know about that if he knows anything about his family tree.

           FANS ? I’ve had my fill of imposters masquerading as so-called fans . Fans don’t contribute JACK to the game.  You weren’t around in the No-Lasix days , I was and I’ve seen plenty of horses bleed through the nostrils. At least three 2yr. olds bled at the BC .

           PLAYERS (not fans) wagered money on those & others that were not publicized and didn’t get what they paid for. [ a runner not compromised because he bled when that could have been prevented ] I myself did not bet any of the juvenile races which are my specialty !  My churn was down more than 50% on BC races, mainly because I don’t want to go back to THE BAD OLD DAYS.  

          Roughly 60% of the decline in handle was a decrease on the juvenile races as reported in DRF .  ( thats for you Stanley)

          As a Player I don’t need any more variables ,especially one that is as unpredictable as bleeding or not bleeding.  Ever increasing take-out to satisfy the greed of breeders & owners is what ails this industry. It drives the Players away, not lasix.     

          This propaganda piece plays fast and loose with its stats/ facts. 45 lifetime starts in 1950 blah blah blah.  In 1950 it took a horse like Citation making 45 or more starts to even approach  $1,000,000 in earnings . Today a baby earns that in a few races. 

            You people want horses to make more starts ?  Lower the purses & take-out and you’ll see the sales prices decline accordingly . You’ll see avg. starts increase. You’ll see handle increase. You won’t see attendance increase unless online wagering is outlawed.

            If horses were making an avg. of 45 lifetime starts in this day ,the same people crying about lasix would be here crying about the over use abuse of the horses.  Very few of you people have any understanding of the history of racing beyond your personal association with the game.  You couldn’t name 10 race horses from the 18th or 19th century without cheating and looking it up.  Of course FANS like you don’t need to know any of that to further your agendas.    

            You want to place blame for owners not making enough money (don’t make me laugh) place it on the Hancocks of this world making a fortune on commercially bred race horses at sales for over a century.

              Finally, “its only the owners money ” LOL.  Its the Players money you arrogant wannabe kings. The Players [both winners & losers] supply the money . Choke on that if you can get that silver spoon out of your mouths long enough.   

               

  • Sean Kerr

     Actually Allan – Salix does NOT stop EIPH. It can lesson most measures to some degree. Read Hinchcliffe’s South African study. EIPH was not eliminated – there was some indication that a level 3 came down to a 2, a 4 to a 3 or a 1 to a zero. If Salix stops EIPH, then how come so many horses bleed through the drug on race day?

  • Roisin

    To be more correct, the dose of a drug is measured in grains, millegrams, grams etc. A cc (cubic centimeter) is a liquid measurement ( 30cc = 1 ounce). It is not a drug dose. In other words, 5cc or 80cc does not tell anyone the drug dosage. To know the dose one must know the number of millegrams of Lasix contained in each cc.

    Some of of your other statements could be a little misleading too.

  • Roisin

    Yes, of course it took a horse like Citation 45 or more starts to come close to earning $1,000,000in 1950 !! There is this little thing called inflation !!

    And considering that minor fact one can not compare 1950 earnings to those of today.
     

  • Sean Kerr

     To Giacomo Fatolla:

     

    I am glad to learn that you pay strict attention to your
    medication billings and question the medications. Good for you: I hope that
    many others will heed your words and do the same. I breed and own and have
    suffered excessive billings and questionable veterinary practices. It is
    also exasperating to have friends and acquaintances tell me how their veterinary
    bills exceed their monthly training bills. And these are Grade 1 level
    owners. But I am aware of other excessive medication uses on the lower levels
    too.

     

    But with EIPH I part ways with you and have a few questions.

     

    Given the amount of research you compiled, how did you
    arrive at the idea that furosemide (Lasix/Salix) prevents EIPH?

     

    Furosemide does not prevent EIPH. Hinchcliff clearly stated
    the results of his observations in the South African study. The drug seemed to
    decrease some instances of bleeding on the Pascoe scale, for example a 3 down
    to 2 or a 2 down to one etc.

     

    EIPH still occurred. So Salix does not prevent EIPH: period.

     

    If Salix did as you claim, then why do horses bleed through
    the drug? One high profile example is that Pants on Fire bled through the Salix
    in the Kentucky Derby.

     

    I note that you “retained a researcher” – was this an
    independent person with no ties to the pharmaceutical industry, that it to say,
    has not been paid by the industry for any prior work? How objective was your
    researcher? Was your researcher a veterinarian who derives her income from
    horse racing? What were her credentials?

     

    The issue is relevant, especially since you stated that you
    “sent her to the University of PA to do research on lasix, then read every
    available article and paper on the topic. “ That is interesting.

     

    You said, “The binder she presented to us is three inches
    thick.” If this is true then surely she read Dr. Lawrence Soma’s research on
    EIPH. You may be aware that Dr. Soma is on the medical staff of the University
    of Pennslyvania school of veterinary medicine.

     

    I haven’t seen your binder, but I have read a lot of the
    research on EIPH too, and I can guarantee you that all of that research boils down
    to only one relevant study: “Efficacy of furosemide for prevention of
    exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage in Thoroughbred racehorses” by Dr.
    Kenneth W. Hinchcliff. That was the only relevant study because it is the only research
    that tested the use of furosemide in a blind study on a large sample population
    in real time race-day conditions. All of the other studies in your binder only
    explore small aspects of EIPH, and all of them, except for the sudden death studies (which
    are just observations with miniscule significance) use tiny statistically
    insignificant sample sizes. So most of those studies cannot be generalized to the racing population as a whole.

     

    As a matter of fact, Dr. Hinchcliff who performed the South
    African study references Dr. Soma in the first of 26 research papers quoted or referred to in
    the study. Of Hinchliff’s 26 references, he refers to 5 of his own papers.
    Hinchcliff refers to Dr. Lawrence Soma in everyone of his other EIPH related
    studies. Several of the remaining references found on the last page of the
    South African study references Dr. Soma. So clearly the entire research
    community places high value on Dr. Soma’s EIPH research.

     

    Dr. Lawrence Soma is opposed to the race-day use of
    furosemide. He testified before congress in June of 2008 and said that the drug
    is bad for racing and that it definitely masks other drugs.

     

    So why does that matter? You mentioned Dale Romans. He and
    the HBPA uses Hinchcliff’s South African study as the bed-rock supporting their
    unbridled use of the drug. Every public statement both parties make misquotes
    the studies and distorts the results. Dale Romans is wrong on every level
    regarding the use of furosemide. I am confident that because he is an
    exceptional trainer that he can do well without the drug should it be banned.
    Dale Romans clearly knows how to condition a horse – but he is out of his
    league in assessing the use of this drug. I can state that given his faulty
    logic and wrong conclusions.

     

    The problem with Dale Romans’ and the HBPA’s assertions is
    that they claim that there are no studies that prove that furosemide is harmful
    to the horse. It follows from his logic that there are no problems with the drug’s use. That is false.

     

    Several people here on this Paulick Report comment chain
    question whether or not furosemide leaches calcium and other minerals from the
    bones (or the marrow generation process). 

     

    If Dale and the HBPA were so concerned about the well being
    of their horses why don’t they question the notion of dehydrating an athlete
    BEFORE it competes? How can they justify depleting the electrolytes, potassium
    and other essential minerals BEFORE THE RACE – when the horse most needs it? And then incredibly, many people give so-called ‘jugs’ AFTER the race. What other athlete on the planet
    dehydrates itself before competing or tries to get rid of its crucial minerals before competing? It makes no sense on any level.

    We have no idea, we have no verification of
    whether or not this dehydration or depletion process contributes to the
    breakdowns in some way or if it contributes to the causes of unsoundness. We
    don’t know because no one has studied it.

     

    So the problem is that there is not enough research to
    support the use of furosemide whether on race-day or in training. We don’t even
    know to what extent the over-use of so-called therapeutic medications
    contribute to EIPH. We don’t know because there hasn’t been a single study on that issue either. I
    don’t think this lack of research is an accident. I don’t get the sense that
    many stakeholders in racing really want to know.

     

    There has not been a single study done to explore the
    harmful effects, the side-effects and tradeoffs of using furosemide on a high
    performance athlete on the day of competition. There is not a single medication
    on the planet that can be used without a price. People of the mind of Dale
    Romans and the HBPA speak as if furosemide has zero side-effects or cannot
    cause any harm from over or inappropriate use. That is simply wrong.

     

    That’s the rub: there has never even been a study to look at
    this theory. Not one. And certainly not on the scale of Hinchcliff’s South
    African study. And even then, Hinchcliff and his team and sponsors missed a
    great opportunity: they didn’t analyze the roughly 30 pounds of urine that the
    diuretic furosemide forced the horses to eliminate. So we don’t know to what
    extent the electrolytes etc. where compromised.

     

    I know that this wasn’t the scope of the study. But it is
    reasonable to ask: why did Hinchcliff choose to downplay a crucial aspect of
    the use of furosemide? One reason is that in reading his study he is clearly
    biased toward demonstrating the efficacy without regard to other factors.

     

    And those other factors matter. And that is the problem with
    Dale Romans and the HBPA’s position. They don’t seem to be interested in
    getting a full understanding, that is to say, the whole truth. The problem with their
    opinions is that the embodiment of their position and the justification of their
    overuse of furosemide are predicated on a one-time study. And that study has
    never been replicated. Hinchcliff’s findings have never been validated by other
    research.

     

    Hinchcliff’s study was a reasonable starting place but it
    caused more questions than it answered. And those questions need to be
    answered. There have been absolutely no other studies down on the scale of the
    South African experiment to support or refute its findings.
     

    • Noelle

      Excellent!  Thank you for the detailed, reasoned argument. 

    • Janet Delcastillo

      Good comments Sean…Dr Phyllis Lose, author of many books on horses and a Vet for the racing industry for FIFTY years, states that Lasix inhibits proper bone growth in young horses (she was appalled to hear any advice to use it on young horses in training). She feels that while it may suppress bleeding it does not heal the problem ..it treats a symptom…to the detriment of the horses long term  health!

  • Sean Kerr

     To Giacomo Fatolla:

     

    I am glad to learn that you pay strict attention to your
    medication billings and question the medications. Good for you: I hope that
    many others will heed your words and do the same. I breed and own and have
    suffered excessive billings and questionable veterinary practices. It is
    also exasperating to have friends and acquaintances tell me how their veterinary
    bills exceed their monthly training bills. And these are Grade 1 level
    owners. But I am aware of other excessive medication uses on the lower levels
    too.

     

    But with EIPH I part ways with you and have a few questions.

     

    Given the amount of research you compiled, how did you
    arrive at the idea that furosemide (Lasix/Salix) prevents EIPH?

     

    Furosemide does not prevent EIPH. Hinchcliff clearly stated
    the results of his observations in the South African study. The drug seemed to
    decrease some instances of bleeding on the Pascoe scale, for example a 3 down
    to 2 or a 2 down to one etc.

     

    EIPH still occurred. So Salix does not prevent EIPH: period.

     

    If Salix did as you claim, then why do horses bleed through
    the drug? One high profile example is that Pants on Fire bled through the Salix
    in the Kentucky Derby.

     

    I note that you “retained a researcher” – was this an
    independent person with no ties to the pharmaceutical industry, that it to say,
    has not been paid by the industry for any prior work? How objective was your
    researcher? Was your researcher a veterinarian who derives her income from
    horse racing? What were her credentials?

     

    The issue is relevant, especially since you stated that you
    “sent her to the University of PA to do research on lasix, then read every
    available article and paper on the topic. “ That is interesting.

     

    You said, “The binder she presented to us is three inches
    thick.” If this is true then surely she read Dr. Lawrence Soma’s research on
    EIPH. You may be aware that Dr. Soma is on the medical staff of the University
    of Pennslyvania school of veterinary medicine.

     

    I haven’t seen your binder, but I have read a lot of the
    research on EIPH too, and I can guarantee you that all of that research boils down
    to only one relevant study: “Efficacy of furosemide for prevention of
    exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage in Thoroughbred racehorses” by Dr.
    Kenneth W. Hinchcliff. That was the only relevant study because it is the only research
    that tested the use of furosemide in a blind study on a large sample population
    in real time race-day conditions. All of the other studies in your binder only
    explore small aspects of EIPH, and all of them, except for the sudden death studies (which
    are just observations with miniscule significance) use tiny statistically
    insignificant sample sizes. So most of those studies cannot be generalized to the racing population as a whole.

     

    As a matter of fact, Dr. Hinchcliff who performed the South
    African study references Dr. Soma in the first of 26 research papers quoted or referred to in
    the study. Of Hinchliff’s 26 references, he refers to 5 of his own papers.
    Hinchcliff refers to Dr. Lawrence Soma in everyone of his other EIPH related
    studies. Several of the remaining references found on the last page of the
    South African study references Dr. Soma. So clearly the entire research
    community places high value on Dr. Soma’s EIPH research.

     

    Dr. Lawrence Soma is opposed to the race-day use of
    furosemide. He testified before congress in June of 2008 and said that the drug
    is bad for racing and that it definitely masks other drugs.

     

    So why does that matter? You mentioned Dale Romans. He and
    the HBPA uses Hinchcliff’s South African study as the bed-rock supporting their
    unbridled use of the drug. Every public statement both parties make misquotes
    the studies and distorts the results. Dale Romans is wrong on every level
    regarding the use of furosemide. I am confident that because he is an
    exceptional trainer that he can do well without the drug should it be banned.
    Dale Romans clearly knows how to condition a horse – but he is out of his
    league in assessing the use of this drug. I can state that given his faulty
    logic and wrong conclusions.

     

    The problem with Dale Romans’ and the HBPA’s assertions is
    that they claim that there are no studies that prove that furosemide is harmful
    to the horse. It follows from his logic that there are no problems with the drug’s use. That is false.

     

    Several people here on this Paulick Report comment chain
    question whether or not furosemide leaches calcium and other minerals from the
    bones (or the marrow generation process). 

     

    If Dale and the HBPA were so concerned about the well being
    of their horses why don’t they question the notion of dehydrating an athlete
    BEFORE it competes? How can they justify depleting the electrolytes, potassium
    and other essential minerals BEFORE THE RACE – when the horse most needs it? And then incredibly, many people give so-called ‘jugs’ AFTER the race. What other athlete on the planet
    dehydrates itself before competing or tries to get rid of its crucial minerals before competing? It makes no sense on any level.

    We have no idea, we have no verification of
    whether or not this dehydration or depletion process contributes to the
    breakdowns in some way or if it contributes to the causes of unsoundness. We
    don’t know because no one has studied it.

     

    So the problem is that there is not enough research to
    support the use of furosemide whether on race-day or in training. We don’t even
    know to what extent the over-use of so-called therapeutic medications
    contribute to EIPH. We don’t know because there hasn’t been a single study on that issue either. I
    don’t think this lack of research is an accident. I don’t get the sense that
    many stakeholders in racing really want to know.

     

    There has not been a single study done to explore the
    harmful effects, the side-effects and tradeoffs of using furosemide on a high
    performance athlete on the day of competition. There is not a single medication
    on the planet that can be used without a price. People of the mind of Dale
    Romans and the HBPA speak as if furosemide has zero side-effects or cannot
    cause any harm from over or inappropriate use. That is simply wrong.

     

    That’s the rub: there has never even been a study to look at
    this theory. Not one. And certainly not on the scale of Hinchcliff’s South
    African study. And even then, Hinchcliff and his team and sponsors missed a
    great opportunity: they didn’t analyze the roughly 30 pounds of urine that the
    diuretic furosemide forced the horses to eliminate. So we don’t know to what
    extent the electrolytes etc. where compromised.

     

    I know that this wasn’t the scope of the study. But it is
    reasonable to ask: why did Hinchcliff choose to downplay a crucial aspect of
    the use of furosemide? One reason is that in reading his study he is clearly
    biased toward demonstrating the efficacy without regard to other factors.

     

    And those other factors matter. And that is the problem with
    Dale Romans and the HBPA’s position. They don’t seem to be interested in
    getting a full understanding, that is to say, the whole truth. The problem with their
    opinions is that the embodiment of their position and the justification of their
    overuse of furosemide are predicated on a one-time study. And that study has
    never been replicated. Hinchcliff’s findings have never been validated by other
    research.

     

    Hinchcliff’s study was a reasonable starting place but it
    caused more questions than it answered. And those questions need to be
    answered. There have been absolutely no other studies down on the scale of the
    South African experiment to support or refute its findings.
     

  • LongTimeEconomist

    In their desire to card as many races with fields of six or more as possible, American racing secretaries long ago started subverting their condition books to the lesser trainers’ wishes and, some would say, to trainers’ increasingly diminished skills (a product of the rapid expansion of racing days back in the 70s and early 80s).

    Foreign trainers still are capable of getting a horse to win the first start of his career at 12 furlongs against previous winners or to win at two miles in his first start in five months. In America, I think you could count on one hand the number of trainers who are capable of either, even if there were such races carded.

     

  • LongTimeEconomist

    Ah yes, the Jockey Club Gold Cup. What a great race it was when it was two miles. The list of winners at two miles is filled with hall of Famers.

    And a one and a half turn race is not a two turn race. Ask the jockeys who have to start from post 10 on the turn.

  • guest

     Roisin is correct. The amount of cc’s given does NOT indicate DOSE- it’s a liquid measurement only. Concentration of the drug in the liquid is what is relevant to dose.  For example 30cc (1 ounce) of Vodka versus 30cc of wine cooler. Same amount of alcohol?  No!

    One track cites the race horse dosage as “The Lasix dosage administered shall not exceed 250 mg. nor be less than 150 mg.”  While the average human dose ranges from 20mg- 80mg/day. ONLY in extreme cases, when water retention is life threatening (Cong. Heart Failure, kidney failure, for ex) will the dose be up to 600mg.day. But that is usually not long-term as the severity of the illness will eventually take their life. 

  • http://www.theracehorseexperiment.com/ Maureen Tierney

    Wikipedia?  I have so many errors there I refuse to even look anymore.

  • http://www.theracehorseexperiment.com/ Maureen Tierney

    I agree.  I think lots of horses can go further but there are no races for them.  Races are written for speed horses, hence they just keep getting shorter and shorter.  And short races are also written because poor training and reliance on drugs does not a distance horse make.

  • Noelle

    Excellent!  Thank you for the detailed, reasoned argument. 

  • Greenhawlaw

    Feel free to contact me anytime. I’m easy to find, but this week-end I’ll be churning the handle at the opening of beautiful Oaklawn Park!

    My only regret is that you wrote this post long after the P.E.T.A coalition had their usual rants and have since moved on, waiting on the next story regarding Lasix and other topics they feel are within their expertise.   Makes you wonder how the PR became the poster board for this group of misguided lost souls—and I made that clear to Ray in the opinion poll a few weeks back.  It’s no wonder that many of the horsemen and horsewomen who used to be PR regulars have abandoned ship and now refuse to engage with the nonsense espoused by this P.E.T.A banter.  I MISS MAGGIE!

    Mr. Sean Kerr makes a very valid point in his post—namely, there are no studies on point!   NUFF SAID!

    For those that care,  I’ll be at the track—not sitting around waiting on my next set of marching orders from P.E.T.A.! 

         

  • nu-fan

    I wonder what your stake in horseracing is?  Perhaps, you and others like you are the reason that this controversy regarding Lasix has been going on for so long.  In the meantime, fans keep disappearing.  Has very little to do with PETA, unless you think that they have such huge numbers to make that decline in attendance at the track.  And, oh, by the way, I am not a member of PETA. You make some very broad assumptions. Perhaps, you do not understand the general public. By the way, I may not always agree with Stanley but I do respect his opinion. He knows horses.

  • Stanley inman

    Mynameisnotrelevantmywordsare

    Fan or owner which came first?
    Let’s move the conversation on
    with the admission
    we all love horseracing
    We all want to be
    in the sport.

  • Turflinda9

    it’s all about the money,period.

  • Turflinda9

    it’s all about the money,period.

  • Sean Kerr

     Further to that Maureen, I have read research that indicates that the sprinters (especially older geldings) bleed the most. So what do we do in America? Push Thoroughbreds to run like quarter-horses and claim we need medications to make them run. Unbelievable.

  • Sean Kerr

     I don’t think it is apples and oranges if you consider that the 5cc induces urination to the tune of 4% of body weight. That is a real issue.

  • http://www.theracehorseexperiment.com/ Maureen Tierney

    I certainly believe that, and it makes sense.  Horses can travel very long distances at moderate speed.  100 miles in 10 hours.  But in nature they only sprinted for very short distances as a way to avoid predators.  Their systems did not really develop for sustained maximum speed.  Look at the cheetah – fastest land animal – for a hundred yards. 

  • Sean Kerr

     But that is the rub isn’t it GB about the purchase: where is the consumer information that will help a bloodstock investor make a truly informed decision? Several G1 level trainers have told me that certain stallions absolutely pass on bleeders. They know this because they have trained the great-grandsires, grandsires, sires and their progeny. It makes me sick because these trainers are in a catch-22: if they tell the public who those stallions are, then the trainers run the risk of getting black balled. I hope everyone can forgive this notion, but I have no sympathy for anyone paying $100k or more for a potential racehorse. Look at how many $100k to $1MM horses you see in the claiming races. If anyone is cavalier enough to pay those prices on horses that are likely inferior then that is their problem. Too many of the sales horses  come from 3-4 generations of over medication to mask the faults. And that is the dirty little secret of the bloodstock industry and we all turn a blind eye to it. I wonder how long it will be before Australia starts to complain about how their bloodstock has become less sound after shuttling so many injured 3 year old stallions to the land down under.

  • Janet Delcastillo

    Good comments Sean…Dr Phyllis Lose, author of many books on horses and a Vet for the racing industry for FIFTY years, states that Lasix inhibits proper bone growth in young horses (she was appalled to hear any advice to use it on young horses in training). She feels that while it may suppress bleeding it does not heal the problem ..it treats a symptom…to the detriment of the horses long term  health!

Twitter