Breeders’ Cup revisiting 2013 Lasix ban

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Lasix (Furosemide, Salix) Lasix (Furosemide, Salix)

I wrote last November that the Breeders’ Cup was at a “gut-check moment” in its history because of a 2011 decision to phase out furosemide, better known as Lasix, as a permitted race-day medication during its annual championships. The diuretic used to treat exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage was banned for the five Breeders’ Cup races for 2-year-olds in 2012 and is supposed to be prohibited in all 15 races this year.

“Supposed to be” being the operative phrase.

On Friday morning, the Breeders’ Cup board of directors, meeting at Gulfstream Park, is expected to revisit that July 2011 decision to phase out the drug.


The climate for change is different today than it was 18 months ago when the new ruled was adopted. Several North American racing organizations were moving to eliminate Lasix in 2011. Will Koester, then chairman of the Association of Racing Commissioners International, said he would push for a five-year phase-out of race-day medication. The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association was considering a new guideline that would remove graded race designations for 2-year-old races beginning in 2012 unless they were run under race-day medication-free rules.

It was in this atmosphere that the Breeders’ Cup board approved these rules phasing out race-day medication by 2013.

But the RCI has made no progress on Koester’s hopes for setting in place a Lasix phase-out. Early last year, the TOBA backed away from its policy banning drugs for graded 2-year-old stakes and hasn’t made a peep on the issue since. That left the Breeders’ Cup as the only national organization to go through with a policy to restrict the use of Lasix.

But the Breeders’ Cup is not just a “national” organization. It puts on a two-day race meeting it likes to call the “world championships,” and its board of directors voted to run those races under drug-free rules that are similar to those in place throughout the rest of the racing world.

As British trainer John Gosden said to a reporter at last year’s Breeders’ Cup, “If you’re having a so-called world championship, from that point of view you probably need to have it drug-free.” He is viewing the issue through a wide lens: what is best for the long-term interests of the game, and for the long-term interests of the Thoroughbred breed. Lasix enhances performance, Gosden is convinced, and Lasix-enhanced performances can pollute the gene pool.

You won’t find more than a handful of American trainers in agreement with Gosden, who understands American racing, having trained in Southern California for more than a decade.

Some of the most vocal of those trainers, several of whom are preparing to send horses to compete in Dubai under race-day medication-free rules, have said a ban on Lasix at the Breeders’ Cup will ruin the event, and perhaps the entire sport. They are viewing the issue from the narrowest of lenses: what they believe is best for their individual horses on the day they race, and for their own success and that of their owners. They fear owners will flee the game if they buy horses that bleed and cannot compete with Lasix.

The Breeders’ Cup board members are divided. Some believe it is their responsibility to continue the push toward drug-free racing, that is in the best interests of the breed and the purity of the sport. Others are convinced Lasix is a therapeutic drug that is good for horses and that the rest of the racing world is out of step with us.

The balance of power for Friday’s critical vote lies with those in the middle who want to see a Breeders’ Cup run without medication but who fear the event will lose horses that (along with their trainers) are dependent on the drug. Shorter fields means less wagering and lower revenue to the Breeders’ Cup. For them it is a pragmatic decision.

And so the vote is likely to go one of three ways: 1) stay the course and prohibit medication on all Breeders’ Cup races beginning this year; 2) reverse field and go back to pre-2012 rules permitting Lasix on race-day; or 3) compromise, keeping the ban on 2-year-old races for another year but permitting Lasix in the other races.

Which way will it go? Hard to say, but I agree with Gosden on this point: keep allowing horses to be given Lasix on race-day if you want to, but you’ll have to stop calling it the world championships.

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  • PNkt

    A very unwise move, all credibility on the international scene will be lost.

    • Jack

      true….unfortunately, we’ve already lost 99% of it.  

      • Train N Go

        Maybe you need to go with him

    • Train N Go

      Are you really interested in pleasing the international scene? Maybe you need to move to the international scene

      • Jack

        there are a lot of billionaires from the Middle East, China, Russia and elsewhere who choose to race in the UK, South Africa, Australia and Hong Kong instead of the USA.  It’s not about “pleasing”, it is about attracting more money to the industry.   

      • Kim Howell

         Spot on. Were I a horse, I would pray to get bought into a EuroYard instead of an American shedrow. Sounder, saner, happier, longer running and drug free…win win all round.

        • Hossracergp

          Really? If you were a horse, you’d be happy to have blood in your lungs and just get a pat on the head? After all, it’s not a bleeder unless it’s dripping out a nostril. By those standards, 99% of the horses in the US are not bleeders either. There are crappy trainers in the US. There are people who cannot tell when a horse is sore, and don’t want to hear it if a rider tells them their horse has a problem. Those are the folks that like to run “drug free” and think they are doing their horses a favor. Ignorance is not bliss for the animal. It’s just ignorance and inhumane to disregard obvious signs of discomfort to make yourself feel like you’re above the fray. Racing is tough on the horses. You have to take care of them, not just stick your head in the sand and pretend all is well.

          • Kim Howell

             Taking care of them means not racing them if they require drugs to perform. Not that difficult a concept, is it?

          • Hossracergp

            The horses in the US don’t “require” drugs to perform. As I said 99% don’t bleed out of the nostrils so they could run lasix free, and if they were going to bleed they’d do it anyway. This isn’t about patching a horse together so he can do his job. It’s about giving an approved legal medication which prevents or reduces the severity of an exercise induced condition. When the Euro horses can’t be “taken care of” over there, they get shipped over here so they can run on lasix. Or is it only the bad horsemen who do that?

        • Train N Go

          if you are so dissatisfied with U.S. racing,why dont you go  where you can be happy. Euro horse are no different from horses in the U.S. They do have bleeders,but they suffer more because they are drug free and have to go it alone,whereas if they used Lasix the symptoms would be less severe. Poor horse, confused trainer 

  • PNkt

    A very unwise move, all credibility on the international scene will be lost.

  • Self Proclaimed Genius

    Phase out plan won’t work IMO. We need a 1 day flash cutover. Too many cheaters with the phased approach.

  • Self Proclaimed Genius

    Phase out plan won’t work IMO. We need a 1 day flash cutover. Too many cheaters with the phased approach.

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

    lasix is really bad for 2 year olds.  the older the horse, the less side effects.   there are a few breeds that handle the dehydration better than others.   the girls handle the dehydration better than the boys.   two turn route horses are more effected.   i wouldnt allow it with 2 year olds.   since lasix users have a performance enhancing advantage. assign 7 more pounds to the lasix users.  this would be fair to the foreign horses in the world championship races.   this way both bleeders and non bleeders can compete.

    • NY Owner

      That is actually the first reasonable approach to leveling the playing field I have heard.  Nice!  While I think the side effects discussion is overblown, it is truly performance enhancing and as an small owner and breeder, I would appreciate the option of using Lasix for those horses that truly need it and could then stay competitive with those horses that don’t. 

    • Train N Go

      Just let them all run on Lasix.. what you are suggesting will never happen The horseman would not stand for such an atrocity

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

    lasix is really bad for 2 year olds.  the older the horse, the less side effects.   there are a few breeds that handle the dehydration better than others.   the girls handle the dehydration better than the boys.   two turn route horses are more effected.   i wouldnt allow it with 2 year olds.   since lasix users have a performance enhancing advantage. assign 7 more pounds to the lasix users.  this would be fair to the foreign horses in the world championship races.   this way both bleeders and non bleeders can compete.

  • Hadrianmarcus

    American trainers don’t remember how to train horses without their lasix. The American Thoroughbred…after a few generations of breeding bleeders to bleeders, can’t race without lasix. And yet, horses in Dubai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Ascot and worldwide can run eight, ten, twelve, even sixteen furlongs without bleeding out or dropping dead.  Be fair, and assign an extra five to seven pounds to lasix runners….and call the Breeders Cup what it really is…the American Thoroughbred Championships.

    • Proc5

      Alway that they should wieght medication in stakes. Like 3 lbs for bute and 3 for lbs lasix. it would make you think long and hard if you want to run on meds or without and have less weight.

      • Train N Go

        that is a ridiculou statement

      • Ben K McFadden

        Not bad, since all handicapping is subjective anyway. Can you also come up with a system to handicap for a lousy trainer or incompetent vet?Maybe also one for stupid owners based on how much money they paid for the $5000 claimer?

    • Train N Go

      have you ever trained a racehorse or you just repeating what someone told you?

      • Circusticket

        Are you saying that only the opinions of trainers matter? 

        • Train N Go

          when it comes to the welfare of their horses, they are reign supreme.

          • nu-fan

            You’ve got to be kidding!

          • Train N Go

            well 99%

          • Circusticket

            Wow, that’s quite bold of you!

          • Hawk222

            All this makes me want to by a new sailboat! Their are a few “nu-fans” out there, but a lot of the “old fans” are finding other things to spend their money on. We, the customer, do not have to be correct. But if you want our money, you will do it our way.
             I hate it when a bunch of cowboys think that the only way do something is their way. I would suggest a business course that teaches the customer is always correct. In this case the customer is the public, and they do not like the product you are trying to sell. Show them that you want to clean up the sport, or the lines at the window will get shorter and shorter, and your paycheck will get smaller and smaller. 
                 Perception is truth in their eyes, and drugs are drugs no matter what they do. They think you are cheating, and doing so not in the best interest of the horse. They don’t like drugs. If the customer wants clean horses and you want drugged  horses, your business is going to suffer. The trainer who has a barn full of clean horses will come out on top. Maybe not in the short term, But in the long run only those who meet the needs of owners and the public will be successful. Change your business model, or racing will go out of business. The public has more money than the racing industry. Money talks – period.  

          • Ben K McFadden

            Hubris.

            I have had trainers I would euthanize for the welfare of the horses in their care if permitted. Instead I could only fire them.

          • Train N Go

            Gaudy

            I mentioned only 99% not the ones you were misfortnate to have selected because you didn’t do your homework

          • Ben K McFadden

             Hubris, nonetheless.

          • Jeffrey

            Good grief. Really? That is what you have? I hope you are not on here looking for new clients.

            Hubris indeed.

            Take a basic science class. Grasp the concept of the scientific method. Allow empirical evidence to be your friend.

            Become enlightened. It will set you free.

          • Train N Go

            Gaudy,
            It is obvious you make you decisions in life based on assumption. When you assume ,the odds declare you will be wrong at least half of the time. That[places you at ground zero in the game of life. I have never trained for the public only my own stable. My beliefs are not tied to some ulterior motive.

      • Hadrianmarcus

         Full disclosure, I am not a trainer. I am part of the forgotten majority…the customer. Secondly, I have spent over two decades attending races at Meydan, Nad Al Sheba, Happy Valley, Tokyo and an odd few in Europe, along with my favorite American tracks. The world extracts the 5% or so of true bleeders from racing…the breed remains strong, and the race results are a reflection of talent and sport, not medication. The fact American trainers can’t conceive of, let alone abide by two days of drug-free racing (15 races total)..at one track in the entire USA in one calendar year is inconceivable…or just pretty sad. 

        • Train N Go

          you made the statement that the world extracts 5% of the bleeders and the breed remains strong. Any racehorse whether he has ever bleed or not in a race is subject to bleed in a race at any given time and under any given conditions. Environmental conditions are responsible for most cases of bleeding not genetics. I have raced and trained horses whose parents never bleed in a race and yet their foal
          bled in a race. Somtimes it was during a work,sometimes it was in the first race and sometimes it was after many races where the horse didn’t bleed and then bam, he would bled in the next race. So your theory is not accurate and it is just that a theory.

          • Spiritbridle

            I have trained and retrained racehorses.  And I have stated that research several years ago proved that bleeding is caused by lack of air pressure.  NO LASIX
            What needs to be  done in order for American racing to became more drug intolerant is for American trainers to go back and train for distance not sprints.
            Stop making excuses for bleeders…..conditioning and style of riding has a great bearance upon the bleeding.

          • Train N Go

            All bleeding is not causd by lack of air.  Lack of sufficient air ways is one of the problems that can cause bleeding. This would be a physical problem. I have trained horses that had small airways and no matter how fit they were they were not going to be a winner on the track. On the other hand, I have trained horses with small airways and they never bled. I had a small horse who had  a smaller than normal airway and he set a track record at Louisiana Downs.  So you can’t say that lack of air is the only cause of bleeding.   Scarred lungs from respiratory disease is another problem. Migration of the lung worm can cause scarring and damage to the lungs. Damage to the flapper nerve  can be a problem.Ulcers in the air ways can cause bleeding as well as any lung infection. As far as traing horses, they need to be trained for the distance that they are going to race.If you are going to sprint, you train the horse to sprint,if you are going a route, you train accordingly.   

          • Ben K McFadden

            Lack of air is a result, not a cause.  Training horses and personal observation does not replace science.  EIPH is the result of increased capillary pressure causing rupture, and from mechanical trauma resulting from internal organ shifts.  The organ shifts change internal pressure pushing the diaphram against the lungs and/or causes other organs to “bump” against each other. Fatigue from lack of fitness is a factor, as are confirmation and genetic weaknesses. A running horse can take a breath only with a stride, if the stride is off breathing efficiency is also off.

            Lasix does reduce capillary pressure and thus the incidence of rupture. It also reduces the effects of the trauma. It does have negative consequences, as well. 

            Lasix is a shortcut for proper conditioning, but conditioning cannot eliminate EIPH in horses or people. The best conditioned human athletes experience EIPH, they just usually don’t show external signs.  Lung damage is not uncommon in old marathon runners who never knew they even bled.  most do. Basketball players, swimmers, cyclists, skaters, etc can and do experience EIPH.

    • concerned horse owner

      What do you really know about the diuretic furosemide???

  • Hadrianmarcus

    American trainers don’t remember how to train horses without their lasix. The American Thoroughbred…after a few generations of breeding bleeders to bleeders, can’t race without lasix. And yet, horses in Dubai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Ascot and worldwide can run eight, ten, twelve, even sixteen furlongs without bleeding out or dropping dead.  Be fair, and assign an extra five to seven pounds to lasix runners….and call the Breeders Cup what it really is…the American Thoroughbred Championships.

  • Khambat

    What will the marketplace be for American throughbreds if Asia, Oceania and Europe are working to strength their breeds while the American trainers/owners/breeders focus only on the short-term…the next race or next crop of lasix dependant horses. Even the Breeders Cup is focusing on field size and revenue in their rational of reconsideration. I’ve never seen an industry more focused on doing what is easy and profitable NOW..rather than invest in the long-term viability of the sport and breed. Horse racing in the USA barely registers a blip on the consciousness of the American public, California racing is about to lose Hollywood Park, and the Breeders Cup is backtracking on the most important stand they took. A reckoning is coming for this sport and for the industry as a whole……

    • Stanley inman

      So true,
      Let’s not forget the enablers who sit quietly on the sidelines
      Trembling over
      Responsibility of making a decision,
      Unable to pick up
      the reins;
      Allowing the poisoning of
      future American bloodlines

      THE JOCKEY CLUB

      • Train N Go

        So true,
        Lets not forget the disablers who think they know what best for horses,
        yet most have no actuall experience training horses,
        and they worry about what someone is doing in foreign countries,
        and think that they know about future genetics in racehorses.

        • Ben K McFadden

          I dislike your style, but you are correct on this.  The rest of the world is not a beacon of truth and honesty.  We need to keep our own house and not worry about the neighbors.  The rest will take care of itself.

          Do folks here really think racing in France, Italy, GB, Ireland, etc is clean because they don’t use race day lasix?

      • Ben K McFadden

        I’ve said it before:  Amen!

    • NY Owner

      If you attend the premiere sales, such as F-T Saratoga, you will see that many of our yearlings are being purchased and shipped to Japan and Europe.  Our stallions are shipping to Australia and New Zealand to do double-duty in the breeding shed.  American stallions are being purchased and shipped to stand in Europe and on and on.  So really?  Obviously these markets don’t think our American runners are inferior due to running on Lasix.  It’s just the demond “du jour” like track surfaces were a few years ago.

      • PNkt

        According to Weatherbys, the number of horses imported to Great Britain from the USA over the last few years are as follows (taken from the 2012 Weatherbys Fact Book):

        2009 – 451
        2010 – 344
        2011 – 287
        2012 – 261

        The figures for Ireland are:

        2009 – 315
        2010 – 284
        2011 – 333
        2012 – 189

        Europeans are buying the bloodlines they know and trust that is for sure, but the number of horses they are buying is in rapid decline.

        • Knowitall

          Interesting stats, thanks. Although all bloodlines and buyers are in decline the past few years the world over.

        • Circusticket

          It could be because of the economy.  Are they buying somewhere else instead, or just buying less in total?

          • PNkt

            Horse numbers are falling everywhere, but there is a noticeable drop in the number of American horses in Great Britain.  A lot of owners/trainers genuinely don’t trust some American bloodlines because they don’t know what they are going to get.

            The balance of power (in terms of the best sires/bloodlines) has swung between the US and Europe several times over the last 60-odd years, we are suddenly seeing a lot more Americans at European sales than we used to – exports from GB to the USA are up 15% and from Ireland to the USA up 12% (in 2012 compared to 2011)

      • Kim Howell (AnitaXanax)

        To me, all that proves is the rest of the world knows drugs are not necessary and proves it by buying/breeding to our stock we INSIST needs drugs and racing successfully without them. Could someone PLEASE strip the blinders off the needletrainers??

    • Train N Go

      The directors of the breeders Cup are finally realizing that the American horseman know more about  how to run their horses than they do. If they want to have a program,they had better listen up.

      • Jeffrey

        Careful Icarus, your wax wings are going to melt.

        Most trainers perform below expectation. Expectation is 12.5% winners based on an average of 8 starters per race.

        As an asides, trainers provide more wager value as a bet against than a bet on when grouped with other factors. I should add that there is little, if any, wager value in the obvious except when ambiguity creates confusion.

        Trainers who perform above the expectation have faster horses first and may be better trainers second; use of pharma does not make a trainer a better horseman.

        Trainers like Baffert, Pletcher and Asmussen simply have faster horses which in large part is a direct result of the resources their group of owners provide them with.

        Believe it or not trainers skew along a standard distribution; 70% of you are average or below.

        But pay me no mind, I’m just a handicapper with these spreadsheets and data sets and analytical tools….

        • Train N Go

          Centaur

           It is true that winners are heaven sent. Trainers can only provide the
          proper care  and nurture for the horses in their care. No trainer can create talent that is not already present. Many of the trainers that you mentioned as being average or below are actually superb in caring for their horses, they just need more talented horses in the barn. Their horses may be average, but their skill and dedication in caring for them is far above average. It appears you have made a career out of handicapping trainers rather than horses.

    • Kim Howell (AnitaXanax)

        “I’ve never seen an industry more focused on doing what is easy and
      profitable NOW..rather than invest in the long-term viability of the
      sport and breed.”

      Have a good look at the American government…

      Get rid of all raceday medication NOW, period. The rest of the world does just fine without it and 16f isn’t the half of it. Try galloping round 3-4 MILES of fences, toting 10st+…WITHOUT Lasix, Bute, Banamine or any of the other substances we Americans love to stuff our horses with.

      The only reason Americans don’t want to change is they’d have to admit 1) they were wrong and 2) they care more about the horse than the dollar. I can’t see that happening, unfortunately. There are reasons why the Euros RARELY send their first string here.

  • Khambat

    What will the marketplace be for American throughbreds if Asia, Oceania and Europe are working to strength their breeds while the American trainers/owners/breeders focus only on the short-term…the next race or next crop of lasix dependant horses. Even the Breeders Cup is focusing on field size and revenue in their rational of reconsideration. I’ve never seen an industry more focused on doing what is easy and profitable NOW..rather than invest in the long-term viability of the sport and breed. Horse racing in the USA barely registers a blip on the consciousness of the American public, California racing is about to lose Hollywood Park, and the Breeders Cup is backtracking on the most important stand they took. A reckoning is coming for this sport and for the industry as a whole……

  • Stanley inman

    If you need to deliberate
    which road to take
    Ignoring roadsigns
    (best practices by rest of world that prohibits
    Gameday drugs)
    You are definitely
    lost;
    a threat,
    Unsafe at any speed,
    Hand over the keys, get out of the sport.

    • Train N Go

      Being so concerned about what ‘s going on in the rest of the world, is not the standard for racing in The USA. It seems as though the rest of the world is out of step with the USA and they need to advance to catch up!

      • Kim Howell (AnitaXanax)

         The rest of the world packs their grandstands every raceday (ala Japan and Hong Kong) and has insane handle, a stable racing industry and sound happy horses…go figure!!

  • Stanley inman

    If you need to deliberate
    which road to take
    Ignoring roadsigns
    (best practices by rest of world that prohibits
    Gameday drugs)
    You are definitely
    lost;
    a threat,
    Unsafe at any speed,
    Hand over the keys, get out of the sport.

  • Stanley inman

    So true,
    Let’s not forget the enablers who sit quietly on the sidelines
    Trembling over
    Responsibility of making a decision,
    Unable to pick up
    the reins;
    Allowing the poisoning of
    future American bloodlines

    THE JOCKEY CLUB

  • Cgriff

    Best takeaway from this article – “you have to stop calling it the world championships.”  So true – we cannot stack the deck in our favor (and we are the island in the stream here – no one else is following our lead on drugs worldwide) and use lasix under the name of therapy and expect other nations to send their best horses to run against a drug disadvantage.  And even if they are allowed to use lasix themselves that day – who’s to say that’s good for a horse who has never run on it?  

    We are no better than any meth head or heroin addict – we are finding that kicking drugs is a hard, painful, gut-wrenching business.  But it MUST be done.  We have crippled the breed by breeding bleeders and unsound horses for generations.  If we are serious about making a positive change and strengthening the constitution of the American thoroughbred – we have to do the hard work and take the lumps and winnow out the weak and breed a non bleeding race horse that can run on hay and oats and nothing else on race day. 

    Because the public’s perception of our sport is lousy – and like it or not – perception is reality in today’s world.

    • John Greathouse

      What happened to doing one’s due delligence? If we are just going to take anyone’s word then I guess perception is reality. Personally I try to form my opinions based on my own work
      Please try to find someone else to quote besides John Gosden. Last summer he said that no one came to America to buy our horses anymore and there he was at the Keeneland Fall Sale for 5 DAYS!!!!!! Trying to buy horses
      The same tiresome people keep making the same tiresome posts. I don’t see one name with any skin in the game

      • John F. Greenhaw

        I knew Ray could not help himself.  It’s been at least a week since his last Lasix article and I guess he felt that Oklahoma horse slaughter had run its course?  Nothing like a Lasix story to up the number of clicks on PR site.  My over/under on posts coming from the usual suspects on this story is 65 by high noon est on 2-22-13. The sad part of this whole issue is the mis-information being set forth as if it were chissled in stone.  It’s NOT!

        Yet, the comments continue to shock the mind.  Did you catch the earlier comment which compared using Lasix to a meth or heroin addict?  You can’t make this shi-  up! 

        I do have a question for those that espouse that the breeders are breeding bleeders to bleeders.  If that is so, as you are sure as hell it is, then why don’t you set forth a list of the names of the horses who bleed and the breeders who are weakening our North American breed.  I, for one, would be most interested in seeing what stallions/mares are responsible for this alleged travesty being cast upon our stock. 

        Notwithstanding the usual comments from the usual suspects, many horseman and horsewomen believe, as do many vets, that:

                            “BETTER LIVING THROUGH MODERN CHEMISTRY”

        • Chuck

           Well….stop the lasix and then you wouldn’t have to guess….or need a list…..better yet….watch which horse stops running after a quarter or so…..

      • Kim Howell

         Mr. Greathouse how on earth would you know how much skin any name on here has in the game? I challenge you to find out about each of us…and prove it.

        • Train N Go

          He can tell by the comments that are made. Many ,but not all seem to have had a bad experience from the racing industry and have a chip on their shoulder or they are merely repeating what they heard someone else say. You can tell by what they say,,they are writing from afar with no experience and in many cases no education to back up their information. Therefore, they become confused by opinion. 

          • Kim Howell

             To me, skin in the game means money invested, education be damned. I tend to bristle when people question my experience, knowledge or investment in the game…they have NO idea.

          • Hollahanh

            So let us know…are you a trainer? What is your involvement? Maybe you can share some insight into your black and white vision of horses having nothing? Before I started training I had idealistic attitudes about this kind of thing.

      • Barry Irwin

        John, it’s because they post anonymously due to a lack of conviction or courage.

    • Hollahanh

      Comparing lasix to meth or heroine is really irresponsible. You are trying to sensationalize the subject by doing so. You have other good points in your post but lose credibility with this comparison.

      Lasix does not make you feel good. It makes you feel like crap. Ask any jockey who has taken it to lose weight how they felt… You are dehydrated and depleted of electrolytes. Prudent trainers only use enough to prevent bleeding in the horse as we dictate the dosage within legal parameters. We can not replace these electrolytes on race day any more because of the witch hunt going on. I’ve seen two trainers get scratched and get huge fines for giving horses electrolytes (salt) orally on very hot days in the summer. Pleasing uneducated people has now become more important than the horse.

      • Kim Howell

         If the horse was truly more important, you wouldn’t have to concern yourself with replacing electrolytes BEFORE the race.

        • Hollahanh

          You don’t think horses need electrolytes running during the day in August? Lasix or no lasix, you can’t do it anymore. Back in the day, horses would always get a jug including electrolytes before the race. Now you can’t even give them a tube of it.

          • Train N Go

            who told you this lie

          • Hollahanh

            Lok at the rulings….Jorge Navarro got a horse scratched at Delaware for administering a tube of Lyte Now. $1500 fine too. Also saw one at Penn for someone. I can understand they can’t have people dosing horses with stuff in the receiving barn but now because of the real cheaters, horses suffer.

    • Train N Go

      If anyone believed this philosophy of yours,it would set the racing industry back 100 years. 

  • Cgriff

    Best takeaway from this article – “you have to stop calling it the world championships.”  So true – we cannot stack the deck in our favor (and we are the island in the stream here – no one else is following our lead on drugs worldwide) and use lasix under the name of therapy and expect other nations to send their best horses to run against a drug disadvantage.  And even if they are allowed to use lasix themselves that day – who’s to say that’s good for a horse who has never run on it?  

    We are no better than any meth head or heroin addict – we are finding that kicking drugs is a hard, painful, gut-wrenching business.  But it MUST be done.  We have crippled the breed by breeding bleeders and unsound horses for generations.  If we are serious about making a positive change and strengthening the constitution of the American thoroughbred – we have to do the hard work and take the lumps and winnow out the weak and breed a non bleeding race horse that can run on hay and oats and nothing else on race day. 

    Because the public’s perception of our sport is lousy – and like it or not – perception is reality in today’s world.

  • nomoralcompass

    Gutless, shameful move. Afraid the drugstore cowboys and their vets won’t show up? Just once I would like to see the supposedly responsible stewards of American racing be as courageous as the thoroughbreds we supposedly love. 

    • Hadrianmarcus

      Breeders Cup….or Bleeders Cup…

  • nomoralcompass

    Gutless, shameful move. Afraid the drugstore cowboys and their vets won’t show up? Just once I would like to see the supposedly responsible stewards of American racing be as courageous as the thoroughbreds we supposedly love. 

  • Proc5

    Alway that they should wieght medication in stakes. Like 3 lbs for bute and 3 for lbs lasix. it would make you think long and hard if you want to run on meds or without and have less weight.

  • Hollahanh

    I don’t think American trainers looking through their “narrow lense” making the best interests of their individual horses their priority is a bad thing. Isn’t that our responsibility???? Honestly, I don’t think we know what would happen to most of our horses if we ran them without lasix. Chances are they would be fine, but many would bleed doing permensnt damage to their lungs. Many believe that once they bleed the “seal is broken” and they are more prone to bleed next time.

    And please stop using terms like “drug dependent horses” when talking about lasix. Although some horses do depend on it for their health, phrasing it this way makes them sound addicted. This is irresponsible as it creates an image of trainers getting their horses addicted to drugs and the non horseman will believe it. This witch hunt is ruining the sport…. Make the horses the priority, not a false perception. Educate people instead!

    • SteveG

      On any given day, roughly 95% of our horses are depending on furosemide to race – whether they medically require the drug or not.

      That’s not individual care or what’s in the best interest of individual horses despite what you’re saying. In fact, it’s just the opposite.    

      • Hollahanh

        If they don’t require it, then they are not dependant upon it. Google drug dependence and you will come up with a ton of info on addiction. Using these words is misleading.

        I’m not saying the current system is perfect as a lot of horses get it that probably don’t need it. Trainers aren’t really willing to experiment by not using it and therefore potentially ruin their horses to find out. People need to realize that trainers are coming from a good place in being against banning lasix. I for one am a proponent of having track/state vets administer my lasix. It removes the possibility of your horse getting the wrong medication which has caused positives in the past.

        Banning lasix completely is not the answer. Horses that bleed require medication after bleeding to clear their lungs and minimize the damage done including antibiotics.

        • SteveG

          Firstly, medical drug dependence is NOT addiction.  Addiction is a disease with a major psychological component which may manifest in drug abuse but may also manifest in gambling, shopping or eating, for example.  Google or no google.If you want to educate people, then start with that.  Not trying to sell wholesale lasix use as individually tailored treatment to individual horses by concerned & able horsemen. “If they don’t require it, then they are not dependant upon it.”Sure they are.  They may not be medically dependent but they are dependent on the drug to compete. And, as you say, “alot of horses that get it probably don’t need it” and that’s the medical definition of misusing a drug.I have a feeling we could go back and forth on this & end up where we started.  On different sides of the fence.I’ll close by saying I respect your opinion but I disagree. 

          • Hollahanh

            But maybe we don’t disagree…. Nobody said anything about medically dependant, I have no idea what you are talking about. Some horses are dependant upon it so they don’t bleed. But they are not drug dependant like a drug addict avoiding withdrawl. This is the picture being painted when people word it this way.

            I would be all for some reform to restrict its use to proven bleeders, like it used to be. What would you do if you we’re a trainer given a stakes winning horse to train that was raced on lasix it’s whole life? Are you going to be the one to race him first time with no lasix, crossing your fingers he doesn’t bleed. If he bleeds and gets pulled up, the horse is damaged, you look like an idiot and your horse can’t run anymore. He will need time off, have to breeze more to get fit again

        • Chuck

           Banning LASIX is NOT THE SOLUTION….BANNING BAD BLEEDERS FROM THE RACETRACK IS THE SOLUTION….but since the industry did not police this from the get go….we get what we got today…

          A DYING SPORT….getting handouts from the casinos….funny when you think this is suppose to be a conservative industry….

          • Train N Go

            You sound like a case of sour grapes. Did you have a bad experience with the racing industry along the way. This industry will never die. The discontented and mully grubbers will simple be weeded out and will pass from us and will be remembered no more. 

          • Chuck

             I had great experience with thoroughbred racing!! one of the greatest sports ever….Yes you might be right that this industry will never die….there are still a few kids playing hopscotch….instead of videogames…

          • Khambat

            “This industry will never die.”  Also said at some point by the record store industry, photo-developing stores, and professional boxing. Take a good look at the grandstand the next time you are at the track…and think back 20 years. Then ask yourself if racing can handle 20 more years of such ‘progress’. 

          • RayPaulick

            CHUCK, 

            HAVE YOU MET JERRY JAM?????????

          • Chuck

             Mr. Paulick….No idea who he is but do see racetracks closing everywhere….

          • John F. Greenhaw

            And YOU deleted my comment to Chuck?

            Ray, you may be more subtle, but the Jerry Jam reference is really cold-blooded.  Great job!

          • Barry Irwin

            Bleeders are regulated and suspended or banned from racing in Australia and South Africa. It is done for the welfare of the horse.

        • Kim Howell

           Dependent or not…if they don’t require it WHY ARE THEY GETTING IT? Giving 95% of American racehorses Lasix and saying they’ll “die”, or “would bleed doing permensnt damage to their lungs.” if they don’t get it then turning around and watching 100% of the REST OF THE WORLD’S RACEHORSES run WITHOUT it and do just fine…not dying, not bleeding torrents from their nostrils, not becoming roarers, heavers or having any form of respiratory repercussions and STILL screaming how our fragile little hothouse flowers gotta have their fix…sounds like the TRAINERS are the junkies here.

    • Chuck

       The responsibility is to the industry, NOT TO AN INDIVIDUAL HORSE!!….every year the customer base continue TO ERODE….this industry is nothing more than a welfare client subsidized by casinos….it is getting handouts….TO SURVIVE….

      • Lexington Trainer

        To a trainer, the first responsibility is to the health of the individual horses in his barn.  The second is to their owners.   That is the job.

        The individual horses come first.

        You are obviously not a trainer, and would never be hired to be one.  I sure as hell wouldn’t trust you with the responsibility of an actual horse.   

        • Chuck

           Their job is to keep this industry alive…..that kind of thinking is why this industry is dying….and dying fast….who will they train for when there is no more horse racing industry in the USA??

          SHORT SIGHTEDNESS…that kind of thinking is why this business model is DEAD…..

          • Train N Go

            the industry is doing fine ,racing will be going strong when you are dead and in the grave,just like it has in the past. there will always be plenty of horses, trainers and owners. if what you are preaching were true, this industry would have died years ago. You are full of baloney.

          • Chuck

             Right…..how long before the casinos kick political backers kick out horse racing!!?…Ontario anyone?…
            eventually the casinos will be more of a contributor to political candidates because they are very profitable….yes it will be around in a very few tracks….the only baloney are those who thinks the casino welfare checks will be around forever….

          • Khambat

            “The industry is doing fine”…..compared to what point in the history of American horse racing? Wow.

          • Kim Howell

             Only the truly short sighted would see the horse as anything less than the number one responsibility. Without the horse, there is no racing.

          • Lexington Trainer

            That’s right, Kim.   If someone wants to make changes to Lasix rules in order to satisfy some “rest of the world” view, then they should go ahead and try to do it.

            But why would they expect any help from ME??  My job is to do the best I can for my current horses.  The ones looking back at me every morning.  I am going to do the best I can for my horses and their owners.

            I do not see that as short-sighted, I see that as being responsible to my horses.

            What is good for the INDIVIDUAL HORSES should be good for the entire industry.   It all starts with individual horses.  It is a lack of education, understanding and experience that has things turned around BACKWARDS where decisions are made on large scales and then trickle down to the individual horses.  That is BACKWARDS… if anyone cares to actually think about it.

          • Kim Howell

             Thank you for responding. Please explain to us how you justify injecting a medication into a horse who does not need it before a race? Has every horse you use Lasix on been scoped a bleeder? What level did they scope at? We, as an industry, would love feedback from all aspects. How can you make an educated decision without all information? Please, join us in discussion without recrimination and help us understand and learn.

          • Lexington Trainer

            Hi Kim.  The effects of EIPH progress with repeated episodes.  The most important episode of epistaxis to prevent is the first one.  I do not think many trainers make a secret of using Lasix as a  prophylactic.   Got it?

            I realize that for some Lasix is an all-encompassing poster child for a supposed drug-addicted American racing scene.  But you are barking up the wrong tree.

            I make decisions on behalf of the individual horses in my care.  I do so with the counsel of the actual experts (a.k.a. veterinarians) who I trust with my horses’ health.  To me, Lasix is just one of a long list of health topics on which I take advice from my vets. 

             As long as the counsel I receive from actual experts continues to describe Lasix as an inexpensive, beneficial drug for my horses’ individual health- then I will continue to use it and continue to support its availability.

            Simple.

          • Train N Go

            The horse I just mentioned above was not on lasix ,but he was fit and ready to run. he had not bled in 3 previous races, but he did the next time. I rested him and doctored him and laid him off until he healed. When I brought him back and got him fit  to race,I put him on lasix. he did not bleed and never bled after that and won several races. If I had raced him on Lasix before he bled, then maybe he would have never bled or at least it would not have been as severe as it was. Lasix is  important as a preventive  to keep horses from bleeding. Are you learning any thing yet. I am trying my best to teach you?

          • Kim Howell

             In addendum, it appears that the rest of the world is the large scale and that the American needle trainer is the individual…it is all in perspective. My horse bleeds, he goes off the track. My horse does not get drugs to mask a non-racing fit condition. Be lucky we’re not as long sighted as Australia…they ban them from stud there. Now THAT would put a crimp in the American breeding industry!

          • Train N Go

            You made the statement that if a horse bleeds, he is not physically fit to race. I have raced and trained horses that were  as fit  as the vet said they could be and their blood count was peaked and they still bled. You don’t have a clue as what you are talking about. and if any country bans a stallion for breeding purposes they still will never elimate bleeding because for the most part it in environmental and not genetics. i owned and bred a stallion who was a bleeder and yet very few of his offspring ever bled. So you don’t have a clue of what you are saying.

          • Lexington Trainer

            “Their job is to keep this industry alive….”

            No it isn’t.   A trainer’s responsibility is to his horses.

            You have never been paid by anyone to train a horse for them.   That is why you do not understand.

        • Khambat

          Why is it that Ascot horses and Tokyo horses and Dubai horses can
          compete without lasix but Lexington and Santa Anita horses can’t?
          Somehow, I doubt the world’s trainers are any less concerned for their
          horses welfare than American trainers. Do they have better horses or are
          they just better trainers?  And why is it the American breed would
          crumble without lasix in the USA…but when they are sold to foreign
          interests…they compete satisfactorily in France or Hong Kong sans lasix. 

          • Lexington Trainer

            Lasix is an inexpensive, effective drug in the treatment of EIPH.

            Maybe some of those Tokyo and Ascot trainers could come over here and show the Bafferts and Motts and Pletchers how  to properly train a successful American stable.

            They could be heroes.  And very famous.

  • Hollahanh

    I don’t think American trainers looking through their “narrow lense” making the best interests of their individual horses their priority is a bad thing. Isn’t that our responsibility???? Honestly, I don’t think we know what would happen to most of our horses if we ran them without lasix. Chances are they would be fine, but many would bleed doing permensnt damage to their lungs. Many believe that once they bleed the “seal is broken” and they are more prone to bleed next time.

    And please stop using terms like “drug dependent horses” when talking about lasix. Although some horses do depend on it for their health, phrasing it this way makes them sound addicted. This is irresponsible as it creates an image of trainers getting their horses addicted to drugs and the non horseman will believe it. This witch hunt is ruining the sport…. Make the horses the priority, not a false perception. Educate people instead!

  • Marshall Cassidy

    This revelation in the Paulick Report is both distressing and not at all surprising. The pusillanimous mind set of those who run the Breeders’ Cup program, and of those who have stewarded its fictitious claims to World Championship-ness since inception, are showing their true colors: money before the game.

    That we partake as viewers in this charade cheapens us all!

    • Train N Go

      You may feel cheap but don’t put everyone else in your category.  The Directors
      of the Breeders  Cup finally realized that the American Trainer knows more about what their horse needs  that the directors do or the people writing these articles,
      most who have never trained a horse and are ideological sentimentalists.

      • Marshall Cassidy

        Train N Go:

        Yours is an apt reply for Lasix advocacy alone. Your thoughts do not regard horse racing as a sport, though they argue for its business dependency upon a drug for short-term financial gains. 

        I suppose you are correct in thinking nobody knows better than a horse’s trainer what any of his or her horses “need” relative to artificial, pharmacological support. But, then again, maybe a trainer is least qualified to make such an inhumane decision — unless driven to keep up with other trainers.

        • Train N Go

          Marshall,

          Lasix is not a tool that trainers use to keep up with othe trainers, it is
          a method of therapy to protect the horse. It has nothing to do with the trainer 

          • Noelle

            Come on.  Sure, it’s a therapeutic drug for those who need therapy (like my elderly beagle who had congestive heart failure) but I’ve heard any number of owners and trainers say in so many words that they use Lasix only because the competition uses it and not for any therapeutic purpose. 

          • Marshall Cassidy

            Train N Go:

            Thank you for responding to my thoughts, but I disagree with your regard for Lasix as a positive reason for trainers to partake in its competitive advantages. I am not a veterinarian and I am not a licensed trainer, but I am interested in the subject and am able to read what is available to anybody of like mind.

            Without re-researching all the test cases, veterinarian testimonies  and pharmacological arguments for and against the use of Lasix/Salix to thoroughly respond to you at this time this evening, I will say simply that it is my understanding, from an overall distillation of this reading, that the diuretic is reasonably characterized as a performance enhancer. Via several mechanisms, Lasix/Salix dilutes, dehydrates and stimulates to varying degrees the treated horse and the physical output of that animal to the tactical advantage of a using trainer.

            As an effort to “protect the horse,” of course, I agree with you that such a goal is laudatory insofar as a bleeder suffers pain, and Lasix/Salix has been demonstrated to also alleviate severity and the quantity of bleeding incidents in horses. However, I think the palliative benefits of the drug are outweighed by the benefits of physical and mental rest for the Thoroughbred away from the race track environment for as long as necessary to control the issue; naturally, repeated episodes of bleeding would naturally end that horse’s career.

            And, here is where I found reason to include the phrase, “… unless driven to keep up with other trainers.” Taking a horse out of competition for extended rest does not pay the bills. The anti-corollary would become, keep the horse in training and racing so there is a chance that animal might pay the bills. I don’t subscribe to equine-pharmacological assistance to the check book.

            Yes, Lasix/Salix is an agent of therapy to protect horses that bleed, but it is also a proven performance enhancer all by itself. One purpose does not obviate the other.

            As a personal aside, I am very disappointed to have learned recently one specific New York stable — with which I have been very familiar for fifty years and from which I expected more character — proactively agreed to not administer Lasix/Salix to its two-year-olds during 2012, but has now gone back on the spirit of that decision, and will introduce the drug to those now-three-year-olds for competitive equity this year. The stated reason: “Lasix is a performance enhancer” and to compete we must use the legal drug.

            Train N Go, I don’t agree with your benign assertion. 

  • Marshall Cassidy

    This revelation in the Paulick Report is both distressing and not at all surprising. The pusillanimous mind set of those who run the Breeders’ Cup program, and of those who have stewarded its fictitious claims to World Championship-ness since inception, are showing their true colors: money before the game.

    That we partake as viewers in this charade cheapens us all!

  • Noelle

    How shortsighted a reversal of the Lasix phase-out policy would be.  When the phase-out was announced, it looked like racing finally had some semblance of rational leadership.  Maybe not. 

    My advice to them?  Stand your ground and show some guts.  Do what’s right for the Thoroughbred – we all know they race without Lasix around the world.  Whatever combination of greed and stupidity brought all the drugs into American racing, it’s time to stop the nonsense.

    • Train N Go

      Your statement about what brought all drugs into American racing  seems biased.
      Some drugs are needed in racing; one being Lasix which protects the horse when he races. When they race around the world they need to consider what is best for the horse. Racing without lasix is not the best alternative.

      • PNkt

        Then how does the rest of the world manage?

        If surfaces/training methods/stabling arrangements are to blame change them!

        Treat the cause of the disease, not the symptom!

      • Noelle

        I disagree entirely.  No drugs are “needed” in racing.  If horses are sound, they don’t need drugs. 

  • NY Owner

    If you attend the premiere sales, such as F-T Saratoga, you will see that many of our yearlings are being purchased and shipped to Japan and Europe.  Our stallions are shipping to Australia and New Zealand to do double-duty in the breeding shed.  American stallions are being purchased and shipped to stand in Europe and on and on.  So really?  Obviously these markets don’t think our American runners are inferior due to running on Lasix.  It’s just the demond “du jour” like track surfaces were a few years ago.

  • Noelle

    How shortsighted a reversal of the Lasix phase-out policy would be.  When the phase-out was announced, it looked like racing finally had some semblance of rational leadership.  Maybe not. 

    My advice to them?  Stand your ground and show some guts.  Do what’s right for the Thoroughbred – we all know they race without Lasix around the world.  Whatever combination of greed and stupidity brought all the drugs into American racing, it’s time to stop the nonsense.

  • NY Owner

    That is actually the first reasonable approach to leveling the playing field I have heard.  Nice!  While I think the side effects discussion is overblown, it is truly performance enhancing and as an small owner and breeder, I would appreciate the option of using Lasix for those horses that truly need it and could then stay competitive with those horses that don’t. 

  • Meyer1127

    JUST SHOW ME THE MONEY

  • Meyer1127

    JUST SHOW ME THE MONEY

  • Jack

    The old “too big to fail” argument.  Drugs weaken the breed and give breeders no incentive to breed sounder horses.  As far as owners fleeing because they “bought a bleeder”, the free market will take care of it.  Bloodlines which produce sounder horses will become more popular and within a few generations, bleeders will become a footnote.   

    The Brits have a comically foolish handicapping system, but they’re spot on about the drug issue.  

  • John Greathouse

    What happened to doing one’s due delligence? If we are just going to take anyone’s word then I guess perception is reality. Personally I try to form my opinions based on my own work
    Please try to find someone else to quote besides John Gosden. Last summer he said that no one came to America to buy our horses anymore and there he was at the Keeneland Fall Sale for 5 DAYS!!!!!! Trying to buy horses
    The same tiresome people keep making the same tiresome posts. I don’t see one name with any skin in the game

  • Jack

    The old “too big to fail” argument.  Drugs weaken the breed and give breeders no incentive to breed sounder horses.  As far as owners fleeing because they “bought a bleeder”, the free market will take care of it.  Bloodlines which produce sounder horses will become more popular and within a few generations, bleeders will become a footnote.   

    The Brits have a comically foolish handicapping system, but they’re spot on about the drug issue.  

  • Jack

    true….unfortunately, we’ve already lost 99% of it.  

  • PNkt

    According to Weatherbys, the number of horses imported to Great Britain from the USA over the last few years are as follows (taken from the 2012 Weatherbys Fact Book):

    2009 – 451
    2010 – 344
    2011 – 287
    2012 – 261

    The figures for Ireland are:

    2009 – 315
    2010 – 284
    2011 – 333
    2012 – 189

    Europeans are buying the bloodlines they know and trust that is for sure, but the number of horses they are buying is in rapid decline.

  • http://twitter.com/M0LL0Y Tim Molloy

    Perhaps it has already been suggested, but the BC could save face by meaningfully bonusing a winner that runs lasix free. For that matter, any horse in the money. That initiative could be funded by eliminating the recently added, but unpopular races such as juvenile sprint/turf, etc.

    • Self Proclaimed Genius

      Or maybe special race conditions which allow or prohibit.

  • http://twitter.com/M0LL0Y Tim Molloy

    Perhaps it has already been suggested, but the BC could save face by meaningfully bonusing a winner that runs lasix free.

  • Train N Go

    have you ever trained a racehorse or you just repeating what someone told you?

  • Train N Go

    that is a ridiculou statement

  • G11gy

    It is telling that me Mr Paulick managed to write about this subject without mentioning the people who truly fund the even through their betting dollars.

  • G11gy

    It is telling that me Mr Paulick managed to write about this subject without mentioning the people who truly fund the even through their betting dollars.

  • Train N Go

    Are you really interested in pleasing the international scene? Maybe you need to move to the international scene

  • Train N Go

    Maybe you need to go with him

  • SteveG

    On any given day, roughly 95% of our horses are depending on furosemide to race – whether they medically require the drug or not.

    That’s not individual care or what’s in the best interest of individual horses despite what you’re saying. In fact, it’s just the opposite.    

  • Train N Go

    Just let them all run on Lasix.. what you are suggesting will never happen The horseman would not stand for such an atrocity

  • Knowitall

    Let them run with it. And reduce the purse share by half for a horse that races with Lasix in the Breeders’ Cup.

    • Train N Go

      On the other hand, we could let those who choose not to use lasix run for half the purse. Why don’t we  let the trainer and their vet decide if and when a horse needs lasix. They are the professionals and are the best trained and the best informed as what needs to be done for the horses in their care. By the way, most of them are making a living at what they do and most of their horses have sustained careers.

  • Knowitall

    Let them run with it. And reduce the purse share by half for a horse that races with Lasix in the Breeders’ Cup.

  • Knowitall

    They will go with door # 3, and it is totally pragmatic. It’s business. Especially when you insist on holding the BC in sunny SoCal. Where pro Lasix Bob rules the roost, speed is the name of the game, and when the BC bound east coast trainers would be inclined to skip the ship.

  • Knowitall

    They will go with door # 3, and it is totally pragmatic. It’s business. Especially when you insist on holding the BC in sunny SoCal. Where pro Lasix Bob rules the roost, speed is the name of the game, and when the BC bound east coast trainers would be inclined to skip the ship.

  • Train N Go

    The directors of the breeders Cup are finally realizing that the American horseman know more about  how to run their horses than they do. If they want to have a program,they had better listen up.

  • Knowitall

    Interesting stats, thanks. Although all bloodlines and buyers are in decline the past few years the world over.

  • Rachel

    I’m sure the starting gateswill be full of lasix free horses willing to run for million $$$+ purses.

    • Train N Go

      not a chance. It will never happen that is lasix free full gates

      • Kim Howell

         Happens all over the world, every race day, in 5k platers and Group 1 superstar races…everywhere but in the “we know better because we are the” USA…

        • Train N Go

          if you are so concerned about racing iin other countries,why don’t you move.

          • Kim Howell

            I’ll tell you the same thing I tell a liberal friend who says the same thing, regarding our political differences:Why should I leave when THEY are the ones who are wrong! I have the right to make my world the best it can be.

          • nu-fan

            Good for you, Kim! 

  • Rachel

    I’m sure the starting gateswill be full of lasix free horses willing to run for million $$$+ purses.

  • Hollahanh

    If they don’t require it, then they are not dependant upon it. Google drug dependence and you will come up with a ton of info on addiction. Using these words is misleading.

    I’m not saying the current system is perfect as a lot of horses get it that probably don’t need it. Trainers aren’t really willing to experiment by not using it and therefore potentially ruin their horses to find out. People need to realize that trainers are coming from a good place in being against banning lasix. I for one am a proponent of having track/state vets administer my lasix. It removes the possibility of your horse getting the wrong medication which has caused positives in the past.

    Banning lasix completely is not the answer. Horses that bleed require medication after bleeding to clear their lungs and minimize the damage done including antibiotics.

  • Circusticket

    Are you saying that only the opinions of trainers matter? 

  • Circusticket

    It could be because of the economy.  Are they buying somewhere else instead, or just buying less in total?

  • Train N Go

    So true,
    Lets not forget the disablers who think they know what best for horses,
    yet most have no actuall experience training horses,
    and they worry about what someone is doing in foreign countries,
    and think that they know about future genetics in racehorses.

  • William Webb

    The Breeders Cup  is as “worldly” as baseball’s World Series.

    H. William Webb

  • William Webb

    The Breeders Cup  is as “worldly” as baseball’s World Series.

    H. William Webb

  • Hollahanh

    Comparing lasix to meth or heroine is really irresponsible. You are trying to sensationalize the subject by doing so. You have other good points in your post but lose credibility with this comparison.

    Lasix does not make you feel good. It makes you feel like crap. Ask any jockey who has taken it to lose weight how they felt… You are dehydrated and depleted of electrolytes. Prudent trainers only use enough to prevent bleeding in the horse as we dictate the dosage within legal parameters. We can not replace these electrolytes on race day any more because of the witch hunt going on. I’ve seen two trainers get scratched and get huge fines for giving horses electrolytes (salt) orally on very hot days in the summer. Pleasing uneducated people has now become more important than the horse.

  • John F. Greenhaw

    I knew Ray could not help himself.  It’s been at least a week since his last Lasix article and I guess he felt that Oklahoma horse slaughter had run its course?  Nothing like a Lasix story to up the number of clicks on PR site.  My over/under on posts coming from the usual suspects on this story is 65 by high noon est on 2-22-13. The sad part of this whole issue is the mis-information being set forth as if it were chissled in stone.  It’s NOT!

    Yet, the comments continue to shock the mind.  Did you catch the earlier comment which compared using Lasix to a meth or heroin addict?  You can’t make this shi-  up! 

    I do have a question for those that espouse that the breeders are breeding bleeders to bleeders.  If that is so, as you are sure as hell it is, then why don’t you set forth a list of the names of the horses who bleed and the breeders who are weakening our North American breed.  I, for one, would be most interested in seeing what stallions/mares are responsible for this alleged travesty being cast upon our stock. 

    Notwithstanding the usual comments from the usual suspects, many horseman and horsewomen believe, as do many vets, that:

                        “BETTER LIVING THROUGH MODERN CHEMISTRY”

  • Chuck

    CIRCLING THE DRAIN…..PERIOD! the whole thing gone out of control……everybody wants the easy way out…..bleeders and horses who can barely run 10 furlongs…..pretty soon all the eastern races they have shortened will be shortened some more to 8 furlongs….oh yeah….forgot….we are breeding milers….the supposedly the way to go as far as breeding….

    funny how all the hype about the prep races for the Kentucky Derby when winning it is just an afterthought…..

    anyone even watch the comedy in the last furlongs of the Travers??…
    they should shorten the races for the triple crown….make the KD 8 furlongs…..
    the Preakness 7 furlongs and the Belmont 10 furlongs….

  • Chuck

    CIRCLING THE DRAIN…..PERIOD! the whole thing gone out of control……everybody wants the easy way out…..bleeders and horses who can barely run 10 furlongs…..pretty soon all the eastern races they have shortened will be shortened some more to 8 furlongs….oh yeah….forgot….we are breeding milers….the supposedly the way to go as far as breeding….

    funny how all the hype about the prep races for the Kentucky Derby when winning it is just an afterthought…..

    anyone even watch the comedy in the last furlongs of the Travers??…
    they should shorten the races for the triple crown….make the KD 8 furlongs…..
    the Preakness 7 furlongs and the Belmont 10 furlongs….

  • Train N Go

    Being so concerned about what ‘s going on in the rest of the world, is not the standard for racing in The USA. It seems as though the rest of the world is out of step with the USA and they need to advance to catch up!

  • SteveG

    Firstly, medical drug dependence is NOT addiction.  Addiction is a disease with a major psychological component which may manifest in drug abuse but may also manifest in gambling, shopping or eating, for example.  Google or no google.If you want to educate people, then start with that.  Not trying to sell wholesale lasix use as individually tailored treatment to individual horses by concerned & able horsemen. “If they don’t require it, then they are not dependant upon it.”Sure they are.  They may not be medically dependent but they are dependent on the drug to compete. And, as you say, “alot of horses that get it probably don’t need it” and that’s the medical definition of misusing a drug.I have a feeling we could go back and forth on this & end up where we started.  On different sides of the fence.I’ll close by saying I respect your opinion but I disagree. 

  • Jack

    there are a lot of billionaires from the Middle East, China, Russia and elsewhere who choose to race in the UK, South Africa, Australia and Hong Kong instead of the USA.  It’s not about “pleasing”, it is about attracting more money to the industry.   

  • PNkt

    Horse numbers are falling everywhere, but there is a noticeable drop in the number of American horses in Great Britain.  A lot of owners/trainers genuinely don’t trust some American bloodlines because they don’t know what they are going to get.

    The balance of power (in terms of the best sires/bloodlines) has swung between the US and Europe several times over the last 60-odd years, we are suddenly seeing a lot more Americans at European sales than we used to – exports from GB to the USA are up 15% and from Ireland to the USA up 12% (in 2012 compared to 2011)

  • Train N Go

    Your statement about what brought all drugs into American racing  seems biased.
    Some drugs are needed in racing; one being Lasix which protects the horse when he races. When they race around the world they need to consider what is best for the horse. Racing without lasix is not the best alternative.

  • PNkt

    Then how does the rest of the world manage?

    If surfaces/training methods/stabling arrangements are to blame change them!

    Treat the cause of the disease, not the symptom!

  • Chuck

     The responsibility is to the industry, NOT TO AN INDIVIDUAL HORSE!!….every year the customer base continue TO ERODE….this industry is nothing more than a welfare client subsidized by casinos….it is getting handouts….TO SURVIVE….

  • Train N Go

    You may feel cheap but don’t put everyone else in your category.  The Directors
    of the Breeders  Cup finally realized that the American Trainer knows more about what their horse needs  that the directors do or the people writing these articles,
    most who have never trained a horse and are ideological sentimentalists.

  • FIVE2_THREE

    If there is any trainer or owner who is opposed to running with out lasix in the U.S. but has no problem with going to Dubai. He or She should be shamed and exposed to no end. if we as Americans can hold our politicians accountable for flip flopping and hypocrisy than we should also hold our sports figures liable as well. especially in an industry that is vitally dependent on OUR money. ## POWER TO THE PEOPLE

  • FIVE2_THREE

    If there is any trainer or owner who is opposed to running with out lasix in the U.S. but has no problem with going to Dubai. He or She should be shamed and exposed to no end. if we as Americans can hold our politicians accountable for flip flopping and hypocrisy than we should also hold our sports figures liable as well. especially in an industry that is vitally dependent on OUR money. ## POWER TO THE PEOPLE

  • Train N Go

    If anyone believed this philosophy of yours,it would set the racing industry back 100 years. 

  • Self Proclaimed Genius

    Or maybe special race conditions which allow or prohibit.

  • Train N Go

    when it comes to the welfare of their horses, they are reign supreme.

  • Self Proclaimed Genius

    Drugs don’t have any place in horse racing. It is cheating. If the horse is no good or a bleeder, retire them, don’t dope them.

    • Hollahanh

      Calling lasix dope means you are severely misinformed. Deworming medicine is also a drug. Ami supposed to let my horses get eaten from the inside out by worms to avoid using a drug? What about vaccines, funny, I have to vaccinate my horse to be allowed at he track. What about penicillin? Nope, can use that, it’s a drug. It’s better to let a respiratory disease spread through he whole barn so I don’t use drugs.

      • Kim Howell

         How long after deworming do you have to wait before putting one in the gate? Make it make sense. Worm medicine, antibiotics, vaccinations, pain killers and steroids all have their place in the health care of any animal, bi- or quadripedal. Where they do not have a place is in any performing animal, again bi- or quadripedal, on the occasion of performance. Simply, if you have anything in your blood God didn’t put there, go home-you are not fit.

        • Hollahanh

          Kim, the poster says drugs don’t have ANY place in racing. Also, today, drug testing can pick up drugs that hav been in a horses system for months after being withdrawn. Innocent trainers are getting positives for drugs properly withdrawn which have zero effect on the horse on race day. They are getting positives for trace amounts of substances never administered, likely cases of contamination. This is the result of an uninformed zero tolerance policy evolving from opinions like yours.

          If you go by “if you have anything in your blood god didn’t put there” we would have nothing to run.. Remember, most trainers do this because we love horses. There are a few that have forgotten this and are carried away. We are not cheaters and want the best for our horses.

  • Self Proclaimed Genius

    Drugs don’t have any place in horse racing. It is cheating. If the horse is no good or a bleeder, retire them, don’t dope them.

  • Chuck

     Banning LASIX is NOT THE SOLUTION….BANNING BAD BLEEDERS FROM THE RACETRACK IS THE SOLUTION….but since the industry did not police this from the get go….we get what we got today…

    A DYING SPORT….getting handouts from the casinos….funny when you think this is suppose to be a conservative industry….

  • Chuck

     Well….stop the lasix and then you wouldn’t have to guess….or need a list…..better yet….watch which horse stops running after a quarter or so…..

  • Chuck

     The American Trainer knows???….WHAT EXACTLY DO THEY KNOW?…
    DO THEY KNOW THAT

    1. The handle continue to decline year after year?
    2. The customer base continue to decline year after year?
    3. The foal crop continue to decline year after year?
    4. The popularity of the sport continue to decline year after year?
    5. It is barely surviving because the industry is getting a welfare check from the casinos!!
    6. The distance of the races continue to get shorter and shorter??

    What exactly do they know? how to milk what is left? and kick the can down the road just like our politicians.

    LMFAO!!

  • John F. Greenhaw

    You are an IDIOT!!!

  • Lexington Trainer

    To a trainer, the first responsibility is to the health of the individual horses in his barn.  The second is to their owners.   That is the job.

    The individual horses come first.

    You are obviously not a trainer, and would never be hired to be one.  I sure as hell wouldn’t trust you with the responsibility of an actual horse.   

  • Chuck

     Their job is to keep this industry alive…..that kind of thinking is why this industry is dying….and dying fast….who will they train for when there is no more horse racing industry in the USA??

    SHORT SIGHTEDNESS…that kind of thinking is why this business model is DEAD…..

  • Dray33

    excellent job of waiting it out, and finding the perfect time – to change nothing. this is what the industry is made of, this is how the leadership of thoroughbred racing has operated for decades. it works perfectly, ignoring dollars in the future for dollars in their pockets now. and trainers will support it, across the board. they like to say that it’s doomsday if we stop with the drugs, and that racing will die.

    folks… racing is dying. they would love to pin it on medication changes. and they will, eventually. face it, American thoroughbreds are incapable of making it around the track without medication (true?). its far too late to institute changes now. when they institute change will be the exact moment they can blame such change on the demise over the past 3 decades. and you will all buy it.

    cant trust our past performances, cant trust the breeding. foreign buyers have dried up. it’s time to make it mandatory for all american throughbreds of racing age to use lasix and bute.

    problem averted for today. tomorrow be damned.

    • Chuck

       Actually there were no tomorrows…..it was just a mirage because the industry kept getting their WELFARE CHECKS from the CASINOS…..there should be a study on how many racetracks will still be open if there were NO casino money!!…and that is the truth…..

  • Dray33

    excellent job of waiting it out, and finding the perfect time – to change nothing. this is what the industry is made of, this is how the leadership of thoroughbred racing has operated for decades. it works perfectly, ignoring dollars in the future for dollars in their pockets now. and trainers will support it, across the board. they like to say that it’s doomsday if we stop with the drugs, and that racing will die.

    folks… racing is dying. they would love to pin it on medication changes. and they will, eventually. face it, American thoroughbreds are incapable of making it around the track without medication (true?). its far too late to institute changes now. when they institute change will be the exact moment they can blame such change on the demise over the past 3 decades. and you will all buy it.

    cant trust our past performances, cant trust the breeding. foreign buyers have dried up. it’s time to make it mandatory for all american throughbreds of racing age to use lasix and bute.

    problem averted for today. tomorrow be damned.

  • Train N Go

    not a chance. It will never happen that is lasix free full gates

  • Kim Howell (AnitaXanax)

      “I’ve never seen an industry more focused on doing what is easy and
    profitable NOW..rather than invest in the long-term viability of the
    sport and breed.”

    Have a good look at the American government…

    Get rid of all raceday medication NOW, period. The rest of the world does just fine without it and 16f isn’t the half of it. Try galloping round 3-4 MILES of fences, toting 10st+…WITHOUT Lasix, Bute, Banamine or any of the other substances we Americans love to stuff our horses with.

    The only reason Americans don’t want to change is they’d have to admit 1) they were wrong and 2) they care more about the horse than the dollar. I can’t see that happening, unfortunately. There are reasons why the Euros RARELY send their first string here.

  • Chuck

     Actually there were no tomorrows…..it was just a mirage because the industry kept getting their WELFARE CHECKS from the CASINOS…..there should be a study on how many racetracks will still be open if there were NO casino money!!…and that is the truth…..

  • Kim Howell (AnitaXanax)

    To me, all that proves is the rest of the world knows drugs are not necessary and proves it by buying/breeding to our stock we INSIST needs drugs and racing successfully without them. Could someone PLEASE strip the blinders off the needletrainers??

  • nu-fan

    You’ve got to be kidding!

  • Kim Howell (AnitaXanax)

     The rest of the world packs their grandstands every raceday (ala Japan and Hong Kong) and has insane handle, a stable racing industry and sound happy horses…go figure!!

  • Kim Howell

     Mr. Greathouse how on earth would you know how much skin any name on here has in the game? I challenge you to find out about each of us…and prove it.

  • Kim Howell

     If the horse was truly more important, you wouldn’t have to concern yourself with replacing electrolytes BEFORE the race.

  • Train N Go

    the industry is doing fine ,racing will be going strong when you are dead and in the grave,just like it has in the past. there will always be plenty of horses, trainers and owners. if what you are preaching were true, this industry would have died years ago. You are full of baloney.

  • Kim Howell

     Dependent or not…if they don’t require it WHY ARE THEY GETTING IT? Giving 95% of American racehorses Lasix and saying they’ll “die”, or “would bleed doing permensnt damage to their lungs.” if they don’t get it then turning around and watching 100% of the REST OF THE WORLD’S RACEHORSES run WITHOUT it and do just fine…not dying, not bleeding torrents from their nostrils, not becoming roarers, heavers or having any form of respiratory repercussions and STILL screaming how our fragile little hothouse flowers gotta have their fix…sounds like the TRAINERS are the junkies here.

  • nu-fan

    Dice Flavor was the long-shot to win the El Camino Real Derby last weekend–and WON against a few horses that were higher favored and from more prominent trainers in Southern California.  But, Dice Flavor won and he won racing without Lasix–the only one racing without it in that race.  I’d like to see other horses doing this as well and trainers/owners who are more willing to run horses without Lasix, especially if these horses have never shown any evidence that they bleed.  Besides, it doesn’t take a horseracing genius to know BS when they see it.  99% of horses running can’t be bleeders.

    • Hadrianmarcus

       Reduces purses by 20% for every winning horse that uses lasix….and see just how many horses truly need ‘preventative’ lasix.

      • nu-fan

        I’ve never seen or heard comments from trainers or owners who race their horses without Lasix (the few that there are).  I would really like to know their reasoning.  We seem to always hear from those in the racing industry who are pro-Lasix and their thoughts.  I’d like to hear the other side.  It might be very enlightening. (A big hint to Ray and his staff.)

  • nu-fan

    Dice Flavor was the long-shot to win the El Camino Real Derby last weekend–and WON against a few horses that were higher favored and from more prominent trainers in Southern California.  But, Dice Flavor won and he won racing without Lasix–the only one racing without it in that race.  I’d like to see other horses doing this as well and trainers/owners who are more willing to run horses without Lasix, especially if these horses have never shown any evidence that they bleed.  Besides, it doesn’t take a horseracing genius to know BS when they see it.  99% of horses running can’t be bleeders.

  • Train N Go

    You sound like a case of sour grapes. Did you have a bad experience with the racing industry along the way. This industry will never die. The discontented and mully grubbers will simple be weeded out and will pass from us and will be remembered no more. 

  • Hadrianmarcus

     Reduces purses by 20% for every winning horse that uses lasix….and see just how many horses truly need ‘preventative’ lasix.

  • Hadrianmarcus

    Breeders Cup….or Bleeders Cup…

  • RayPaulick

    CHUCK, 

    HAVE YOU MET JERRY JAM?????????

  • Kim Howell

     Happens all over the world, every race day, in 5k platers and Group 1 superstar races…everywhere but in the “we know better because we are the” USA…

  • Train N Go

    He can tell by the comments that are made. Many ,but not all seem to have had a bad experience from the racing industry and have a chip on their shoulder or they are merely repeating what they heard someone else say. You can tell by what they say,,they are writing from afar with no experience and in many cases no education to back up their information. Therefore, they become confused by opinion. 

  • Chuck

     Right…..how long before the casinos kick political backers kick out horse racing!!?…Ontario anyone?…
    eventually the casinos will be more of a contributor to political candidates because they are very profitable….yes it will be around in a very few tracks….the only baloney are those who thinks the casino welfare checks will be around forever….

  • Kim Howell

     Spot on. Were I a horse, I would pray to get bought into a EuroYard instead of an American shedrow. Sounder, saner, happier, longer running and drug free…win win all round.

  • Khambat

    Why is it that Ascot horses and Tokyo horses and Dubai horses can
    compete without lasix but Lexington and Santa Anita horses can’t?
    Somehow, I doubt the world’s trainers are any less concerned for their
    horses welfare than American trainers. Do they have better horses or are
    they just better trainers?  And why is it the American breed would
    crumble without lasix in the USA…but when they are sold to foreign
    interests…they compete satisfactorily in France or Hong Kong sans lasix. 

  • Kim Howell

     To me, skin in the game means money invested, education be damned. I tend to bristle when people question my experience, knowledge or investment in the game…they have NO idea.

  • Sue M. Chapman

    Last year I wrote frequently about the BC “Win and You’re In” needing refinement.  Since BC is the ONLY organization to make a decision and enforce it, why not add “When Racing Without Lasix” to their program? 

    Here are a few ideas to consider  which might Level the Playing Field:

    Eliminate bonus money nationally accross the board unless horses race without Lasix. 

    That will eliminate “one race wonders” with big pedigrees that race With Lasix, as well as the fashionable, win a graded stake and your horse is guaranteed a career as a Stallion even if he raced on Lasix.  

    Eliminate bonuses for fillies and mares as well when racing With Lasix. 

    Downgrade Stake performance values when racing on Lasix.

    Require all BC horses to have raced Without Lasix within a specific number of days or months to be eligible to enter.

    Enforce NO LASIX for ALL 2YO’s of 2013.

     There is No Need to ban raceday Lasix for horses that need all the performance enhancement they can get. 

    Catalog sale horses with Lasix on the pedigree page.

    Refocus the approach  to raceday medication Without Banning Lasix.    The Racing Industry will then sort itself out. 

          

    • Train N Go

      Sorry Sue,
      The BC or no other organization shold be able to tell a trainer when to or not to give Lasix. This is a trainer decision not some organizations pet political discussion 

      • Sue M. Chapman

        At no time did I suggest eliminating raceday medication.  I do support correcting the genetic pool damaged by generations of indiscriminate breeding. 

        Most who comment about Ray’s fabulous information are armchair critics.  I offered a Solution to repair this fractured Industry.

  • Hossracergp

    Really? If you were a horse, you’d be happy to have blood in your lungs and just get a pat on the head? After all, it’s not a bleeder unless it’s dripping out a nostril. By those standards, 99% of the horses in the US are not bleeders either. There are crappy trainers in the US. There are people who cannot tell when a horse is sore, and don’t want to hear it if a rider tells them their horse has a problem. Those are the folks that like to run “drug free” and think they are doing their horses a favor. Ignorance is not bliss for the animal. It’s just ignorance and inhumane to disregard obvious signs of discomfort to make yourself feel like you’re above the fray. Racing is tough on the horses. You have to take care of them, not just stick your head in the sand and pretend all is well.

  • Sue M. Chapman

    Last year I wrote frequently about the BC “Win and You’re In” needing refinement.  Since BC is the ONLY organization to make a decision and enforce it, why not add “When Racing Without Lasix” to their program? 

    Here are a few ideas to consider  which might Level the Playing Field:

    Eliminate bonus money nationally accross the board unless horses race without Lasix. 

    That will eliminate “one race wonders” with big pedigrees that race With Lasix, as well as the fashionable, win a graded stake and your horse is guaranteed a career as a Stallion even if he raced on Lasix.  

    Eliminate bonuses for fillies and mares as well when racing With Lasix. 

    Downgrade Stake performance values when racing on Lasix.

    Require all BC horses to have raced Without Lasix within a specific number of days or months to be eligible to enter.

    Enforce NO LASIX for ALL 2YO’s of 2013.

     There is No Need to ban raceday Lasix for horses that need all the performance enhancement they can get. 

    Catalog sale horses with Lasix on the pedigree page.

    Refocus the approach  to raceday medication Without Banning Lasix.    The Racing Industry will then sort itself out. 

          

  • nu-fan

    I’ve never seen or heard comments from trainers or owners who race their horses without Lasix (the few that there are).  I would really like to know their reasoning.  We seem to always hear from those in the racing industry who are pro-Lasix and their thoughts.  I’d like to hear the other side.  It might be very enlightening. (A big hint to Ray and his staff.)

  • Hollahanh

    You don’t think horses need electrolytes running during the day in August? Lasix or no lasix, you can’t do it anymore. Back in the day, horses would always get a jug including electrolytes before the race. Now you can’t even give them a tube of it.

  • Train N Go

    if you are so concerned about racing iin other countries,why don’t you move.

  • Hadrianmarcus

     Full disclosure, I am not a trainer. I am part of the forgotten majority…the customer. Secondly, I have spent over two decades attending races at Meydan, Nad Al Sheba, Happy Valley, Tokyo and an odd few in Europe, along with my favorite American tracks. The world extracts the 5% or so of true bleeders from racing…the breed remains strong, and the race results are a reflection of talent and sport, not medication. The fact American trainers can’t conceive of, let alone abide by two days of drug-free racing (15 races total)..at one track in the entire USA in one calendar year is inconceivable…or just pretty sad. 

  • Hollahanh

    Calling lasix dope means you are severely misinformed. Deworming medicine is also a drug. Ami supposed to let my horses get eaten from the inside out by worms to avoid using a drug? What about vaccines, funny, I have to vaccinate my horse to be allowed at he track. What about penicillin? Nope, can use that, it’s a drug. It’s better to let a respiratory disease spread through he whole barn so I don’t use drugs.

  • Train N Go

    who told you this lie

  • Kim Howell

     Taking care of them means not racing them if they require drugs to perform. Not that difficult a concept, is it?

  • Train N Go

    Sorry Sue,
    The BC or no other organization shold be able to tell a trainer when to or not to give Lasix. This is a trainer decision not some organizations pet political discussion 

  • Chuck

     I had great experience with thoroughbred racing!! one of the greatest sports ever….Yes you might be right that this industry will never die….there are still a few kids playing hopscotch….instead of videogames…

  • Chuck

     Mr. Paulick….No idea who he is but do see racetracks closing everywhere….

  • Khambat

    “This industry will never die.”  Also said at some point by the record store industry, photo-developing stores, and professional boxing. Take a good look at the grandstand the next time you are at the track…and think back 20 years. Then ask yourself if racing can handle 20 more years of such ‘progress’. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.vandenbrink.52 Ben van den Brink

    Just call it breeders Cup races from now on , but i,d like to hear the ifha stance on this.

    If the americans are willing to spoil their population, by using an powerful race enhacer please go ahead.

    • Kim Howell

       The IFHA looks at American racing like you would a mad uncle; a part of the family…but we don’t talk about him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.vandenbrink.52 Ben van den Brink

    Just call it breeders Cup races from now on , but i,d like to hear the ifha stance on this.

    If the americans are willing to spoil their population, by using an powerful race enhacer please go ahead.

  • Kim Howell

     Only the truly short sighted would see the horse as anything less than the number one responsibility. Without the horse, there is no racing.

  • Lexington Trainer

    “Their job is to keep this industry alive….”

    No it isn’t.   A trainer’s responsibility is to his horses.

    You have never been paid by anyone to train a horse for them.   That is why you do not understand.

  • Kim Howell

    I’ll tell you the same thing I tell a liberal friend who says the same thing, regarding our political differences:Why should I leave when THEY are the ones who are wrong! I have the right to make my world the best it can be.

  • Alison Thompson

    I worked in the BC/NTRA office when that “world championship” was coined and fed to the Board. It was just a marketing scheme. Nothing else. You’re absolutely right. If the Board is serious to really make change, they need to suck it up and just do it. But, there’s no Lincoln on the Board. No changes will occur. Too bad.

  • Alison Thompson

    I worked in the BC/NTRA office when that “world championship” was coined and fed to the Board. It was just a marketing scheme. Nothing else. You’re absolutely right. If the Board is serious to really make change, they need to suck it up and just do it. But, there’s no Lincoln on the Board. No changes will occur. Too bad.

  • Khambat

    “The industry is doing fine”…..compared to what point in the history of American horse racing? Wow.

  • Kim Howell

     How long after deworming do you have to wait before putting one in the gate? Make it make sense. Worm medicine, antibiotics, vaccinations, pain killers and steroids all have their place in the health care of any animal, bi- or quadripedal. Where they do not have a place is in any performing animal, again bi- or quadripedal, on the occasion of performance. Simply, if you have anything in your blood God didn’t put there, go home-you are not fit.

  • Lexington Trainer

    Lasix is an inexpensive, effective drug in the treatment of EIPH.

    Maybe some of those Tokyo and Ascot trainers could come over here and show the Bafferts and Motts and Pletchers how  to properly train a successful American stable.

    They could be heroes.  And very famous.

  • Kim Howell

     The IFHA looks at American racing like you would a mad uncle; a part of the family…but we don’t talk about him.

  • Sue M. Chapman

    At no time did I suggest eliminating raceday medication.  I do support correcting the genetic pool damaged by generations of indiscriminate breeding. 

    Most who comment about Ray’s fabulous information are armchair critics.  I offered a Solution to repair this fractured Industry.

  • Lexington Trainer

    That’s right, Kim.   If someone wants to make changes to Lasix rules in order to satisfy some “rest of the world” view, then they should go ahead and try to do it.

    But why would they expect any help from ME??  My job is to do the best I can for my current horses.  The ones looking back at me every morning.  I am going to do the best I can for my horses and their owners.

    I do not see that as short-sighted, I see that as being responsible to my horses.

    What is good for the INDIVIDUAL HORSES should be good for the entire industry.   It all starts with individual horses.  It is a lack of education, understanding and experience that has things turned around BACKWARDS where decisions are made on large scales and then trickle down to the individual horses.  That is BACKWARDS… if anyone cares to actually think about it.

  • Train N Go

    if you are so dissatisfied with U.S. racing,why dont you go  where you can be happy. Euro horse are no different from horses in the U.S. They do have bleeders,but they suffer more because they are drug free and have to go it alone,whereas if they used Lasix the symptoms would be less severe. Poor horse, confused trainer 

  • Kim Howell

     Thank you for responding. Please explain to us how you justify injecting a medication into a horse who does not need it before a race? Has every horse you use Lasix on been scoped a bleeder? What level did they scope at? We, as an industry, would love feedback from all aspects. How can you make an educated decision without all information? Please, join us in discussion without recrimination and help us understand and learn.

  • Hollahanh

    Kim, the poster says drugs don’t have ANY place in racing. Also, today, drug testing can pick up drugs that hav been in a horses system for months after being withdrawn. Innocent trainers are getting positives for drugs properly withdrawn which have zero effect on the horse on race day. They are getting positives for trace amounts of substances never administered, likely cases of contamination. This is the result of an uninformed zero tolerance policy evolving from opinions like yours.

    If you go by “if you have anything in your blood god didn’t put there” we would have nothing to run.. Remember, most trainers do this because we love horses. There are a few that have forgotten this and are carried away. We are not cheaters and want the best for our horses.

  • Kim Howell

     In addendum, it appears that the rest of the world is the large scale and that the American needle trainer is the individual…it is all in perspective. My horse bleeds, he goes off the track. My horse does not get drugs to mask a non-racing fit condition. Be lucky we’re not as long sighted as Australia…they ban them from stud there. Now THAT would put a crimp in the American breeding industry!

  • Hollahanh

    So let us know…are you a trainer? What is your involvement? Maybe you can share some insight into your black and white vision of horses having nothing? Before I started training I had idealistic attitudes about this kind of thing.

  • Hollahanh

    Lok at the rulings….Jorge Navarro got a horse scratched at Delaware for administering a tube of Lyte Now. $1500 fine too. Also saw one at Penn for someone. I can understand they can’t have people dosing horses with stuff in the receiving barn but now because of the real cheaters, horses suffer.

  • Train N Go

    you made the statement that the world extracts 5% of the bleeders and the breed remains strong. Any racehorse whether he has ever bleed or not in a race is subject to bleed in a race at any given time and under any given conditions. Environmental conditions are responsible for most cases of bleeding not genetics. I have raced and trained horses whose parents never bleed in a race and yet their foal
    bled in a race. Somtimes it was during a work,sometimes it was in the first race and sometimes it was after many races where the horse didn’t bleed and then bam, he would bled in the next race. So your theory is not accurate and it is just that a theory.

  • Train N Go

    well 99%

  • Train N Go

    You made the statement that if a horse bleeds, he is not physically fit to race. I have raced and trained horses that were  as fit  as the vet said they could be and their blood count was peaked and they still bled. You don’t have a clue as what you are talking about. and if any country bans a stallion for breeding purposes they still will never elimate bleeding because for the most part it in environmental and not genetics. i owned and bred a stallion who was a bleeder and yet very few of his offspring ever bled. So you don’t have a clue of what you are saying.

  • Lexington Trainer

    Hi Kim.  The effects of EIPH progress with repeated episodes.  The most important episode of epistaxis to prevent is the first one.  I do not think many trainers make a secret of using Lasix as a  prophylactic.   Got it?

    I realize that for some Lasix is an all-encompassing poster child for a supposed drug-addicted American racing scene.  But you are barking up the wrong tree.

    I make decisions on behalf of the individual horses in my care.  I do so with the counsel of the actual experts (a.k.a. veterinarians) who I trust with my horses’ health.  To me, Lasix is just one of a long list of health topics on which I take advice from my vets. 

     As long as the counsel I receive from actual experts continues to describe Lasix as an inexpensive, beneficial drug for my horses’ individual health- then I will continue to use it and continue to support its availability.

    Simple.

  • Spiritbridle

    I have trained and retrained racehorses.  And I have stated that research several years ago proved that bleeding is caused by lack of air pressure.  NO LASIX
    What needs to be  done in order for American racing to became more drug intolerant is for American trainers to go back and train for distance not sprints.
    Stop making excuses for bleeders…..conditioning and style of riding has a great bearance upon the bleeding.

  • John F. Greenhaw

    And YOU deleted my comment to Chuck?

    Ray, you may be more subtle, but the Jerry Jam reference is really cold-blooded.  Great job!

  • jorge

    I am on the other side of the fence on this one Ray. Will you call it The World Championship if horses like Wise Dan, etc decide not to race ?

    • RayPaulick

      Yes, I would. Medication rules are globally accepted, it’s the choice of the connections to skip the race.

      • jorge

        Or it would be like the super bowl with replacement players. Champions but not the best

        • RayPaulick

          Baseball without Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Mark McGwire.

  • jorge

    I am on the other side of the fence on this one Ray. Will you call it The World Championship if horses like Wise Dan, etc decide not to race ?

  • Circusticket

    Wow, that’s quite bold of you!

  • RayPaulick

    Yes, I would. Medication rules are globally accepted, it’s the choice of the connections to skip the race.

  • Train N Go

    All bleeding is not causd by lack of air.  Lack of sufficient air ways is one of the problems that can cause bleeding. This would be a physical problem. I have trained horses that had small airways and no matter how fit they were they were not going to be a winner on the track. On the other hand, I have trained horses with small airways and they never bled. I had a small horse who had  a smaller than normal airway and he set a track record at Louisiana Downs.  So you can’t say that lack of air is the only cause of bleeding.   Scarred lungs from respiratory disease is another problem. Migration of the lung worm can cause scarring and damage to the lungs. Damage to the flapper nerve  can be a problem.Ulcers in the air ways can cause bleeding as well as any lung infection. As far as traing horses, they need to be trained for the distance that they are going to race.If you are going to sprint, you train the horse to sprint,if you are going a route, you train accordingly.   

  • sittin’ chilly

    I wish everyone would stop using the “for the good of the horse” argument. What it is for the good of is the horse performing under conditions dictated by their human connections as perceived by those connections. If it was the good of the horse we were truly concerned with, we wouldn’t be training and racing them; certainly not bleeders or less than sound horses. Is clenbuterol for the good of the horse? Bute on raceday? The long term affects of Lasix usage? Stop the hypocrisy. I say this as an owner who has permitted the use of these. But I will not kid myself it’s for the good of the horse.

    • Jeffrey

      Thanks for an honest synopsis.

  • sittin’ chilly

    I wish everyone would stop using the “for the good of the horse” argument. What it is for the good of is the horse performing under conditions dictated by their human connections as perceived by those connections. If it was the good of the horse we were truly concerned with, we wouldn’t be training and racing them; certainly not bleeders or less than sound horses. Is clenbuterol for the good of the horse? Bute on raceday? The long term affects of Lasix usage? Stop the hypocrisy. I say this as an owner who has permitted the use of these. But I will not kid myself it’s for the good of the horse.

  • Train N Go

    On the other hand, we could let those who choose not to use lasix run for half the purse. Why don’t we  let the trainer and their vet decide if and when a horse needs lasix. They are the professionals and are the best trained and the best informed as what needs to be done for the horses in their care. By the way, most of them are making a living at what they do and most of their horses have sustained careers.

  • Train N Go

    The horse I just mentioned above was not on lasix ,but he was fit and ready to run. he had not bled in 3 previous races, but he did the next time. I rested him and doctored him and laid him off until he healed. When I brought him back and got him fit  to race,I put him on lasix. he did not bleed and never bled after that and won several races. If I had raced him on Lasix before he bled, then maybe he would have never bled or at least it would not have been as severe as it was. Lasix is  important as a preventive  to keep horses from bleeding. Are you learning any thing yet. I am trying my best to teach you?

  • nu-fan

    Good for you, Kim! 

  • Barry Irwin

    Bleeders are regulated and suspended or banned from racing in Australia and South Africa. It is done for the welfare of the horse.

  • Barry Irwin

    John, it’s because they post anonymously due to a lack of conviction or courage.

  • Noelle

    I disagree entirely.  No drugs are “needed” in racing.  If horses are sound, they don’t need drugs. 

  • Marshall Cassidy

    Train N Go:

    Yours is an apt reply for Lasix advocacy alone. Your thoughts do not regard horse racing as a sport, though they argue for its business dependency upon a drug for short-term financial gains. 

    I suppose you are correct in thinking nobody knows better than a horse’s trainer what any of his or her horses “need” relative to artificial, pharmacological support. But, then again, maybe a trainer is least qualified to make such an inhumane decision — unless driven to keep up with other trainers.

  • jorge

    Or it would be like the super bowl with replacement players. Champions but not the best

  • RayPaulick

    Baseball without Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Mark McGwire.

  • Jerry

    JUST SEND THEM A MESSAGE AND “DO NOT NOMINATE” YOUR FOALS TO THE BREEDERS CUP!!!!!!!!!

    THAT WILL MAKE SURE THEY DO THE RIGHT THING!!!!

    • RayPaulick

      Jerry,

      There was a time when when you had suggestions or positive ideas to help make the industry stronger. Now, and correct me if I’m mistaken, a significant percentage of your comments are repetitive and negative.

      We have asked other posters who have engaged in similar repetitive, negative comments to please refrain from doing so. I would ask you to do the same.

      You’re a bright man, have made substantial investments in the horse industry, and have a lot of energy. What would it take for you to turn that energy into a positive?

      Ray

      • Jerry

        Ray:

        My comments CAN’T be repetitive when you repeatedly remove them……..

        If more people were “truthfully negative” about the industry, positive changes would occur.

        It’s well known that your sole business strategy is to protect your friends/advertisers and that is counterproductive to progressive change.

        Horseracing (especially in CA) will continue its decline because people do NOT recognize that structural changes must be made and that racetrack management need to be responsive to the fans and owners. Until this happens your advertising pool will get smaller each month and you will be doing a MAJOR dis-service to the industry!

        Anyway, who really cares as more tracks close in CA and both horses and trainers ship east!!!!!

        • Ron Crookham

          Ya, like east coast trainers are any better than trainers out west. I’m from the east coast and have no interest in moving back and I doubt the majority of west coast trainers would move east. You have made significant changes as an advocate for owners and horses, I am thankful for your contributions. Don’t give up on California racing,keep fighting the good fight :)

  • Jerry

    JUST SEND THEM A MESSAGE AND “DO NOT NOMINATE” YOUR FOALS TO THE BREEDERS CUP!!!!!!!!!

    THAT WILL MAKE SURE THEY DO THE RIGHT THING!!!!

  • RayPaulick

    Jerry,

    There was a time when when you had suggestions or positive ideas to help make the industry stronger. Now, and correct me if I’m mistaken, a significant percentage of your comments are repetitive and negative.

    We have asked other posters who have engaged in similar repetitive, negative comments to please refrain from doing so. I would ask you to do the same.

    You’re a bright man, have made substantial investments in the horse industry, and have a lot of energy. What would it take for you to turn that energy into a positive?

    Ray

  • Jerry

    Ray:

    My comments CAN’T be repetitive when you repeatedly remove them……..

    If more people were “truthfully negative” about the industry, positive changes would occur.

    It’s well known that your sole business strategy is to protect your friends/advertisers and that is counterproductive to progressive change.

    Horseracing (especially in CA) will continue its decline because people do NOT recognize that structural changes must be made and that racetrack management need to be responsive to the fans and owners. Until this happens your advertising pool will get smaller each month and you will be doing a MAJOR dis-service to the industry!

    Anyway, who really cares as more tracks close in CA and both horses and trainers ship east!!!!!

  • Ben K McFadden

    Lack of air is a result, not a cause.  Training horses and personal observation does not replace science.  EIPH is the result of increased capillary pressure causing rupture, and from mechanical trauma resulting from internal organ shifts.  The organ shifts change internal pressure pushing the diaphram against the lungs and/or causes other organs to “bump” against each other. Fatigue from lack of fitness is a factor, as are confirmation and genetic weaknesses. A horse can take a breath only with a stride, if the stride is off breathing efficiency is also off.

    Lasix does reduce capillary pressure and thus the incidence of rupture. It also reduces the effects of the trauma. It has other negative consequences, as well. 

    Lasix is a shortcut for proper conditioning, but conditioning cannot eliminate EIPH in horses or people. The best conditioned human athletes experience EIPH, they just usually don’t show external signs.  Lung damage is not uncommon in old marathon runners who never knew they even bled.  most do. Basketball players, swimmers, etc can and do experience EIPH.

  • Ben K McFadden

    Hubris.

    I have had trainers I would euthanize for the welfare of the horses in their care if permitted. Instead I could only fire them.

  • Ben K McFadden

    Not bad, since all handicapping is subjective anyway. Can you also come up with a system to handicap for a lousy trainer or incompetent vet?Maybe also one for stupid owners based on how much money they paid for the $5000 claimer?

  • Ben K McFadden

    I’ve said it before:  Amen!

  • Ben K McFadden

    I dislike your style, but you are correct on this.  The rest of the world is not a beacon of truth and honesty.  We need to keep our own house and not worry about the neighbors.  The rest will take care of itself.

    Do folks here really think racing in France, Italy, GB, Ireland, etc is clean because they don’t use race day lasix?

  • Train N Go

    Gaudy

    I mentioned only 99% not the ones you were misfortnate to have selected because you didn’t do your homework

  • Ben K McFadden

     Hubris, nonetheless.

  • concerned horse owner

    If Lasix was a  performance enhancing drug……… A-Rod, Armstrong, Clemons,Maguire, Sosa, Petite, Giambi, Bladerunner,  ……………would have used it…….they probably did but it made them run to the bathroom……because its a DIURETIC!!!!!   Therapeutic!!

    • Hopefieldstables

       http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/8695269/London-2012-Olympics-Jamaican-sprinter-Steve-Mullings-tests-positive-for-masking-agent.html

      • Marshall Cassidy

        Hopefieldstables:

        You’ve certainly caught a timely headline for this extended discussion of Lasix and drug use generally. That Furosemide could be a masking agent is not a novel thought, though it remains arguable in some quarters. Too bad the contested concept cannot be nailed down and accepted as proven because this ongoing story line perpetuates Racing’s sad public perception.

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