Florida statute foils policy on Lasix shots

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


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

Tampa Bay Downs officials had hoped to have house rules in place for third-party administration of the anti-bleeding medication furosemide when the 2012-13 meeting begins on Dec. 1, but plans were shelved when they realized the policy would not keep private veterinarians out of a horse’s stall on race day.

The reason? Florida pari-mutuel racing statute specifically permits the race-day administration of the corticosteroid prednisolone sodium succinate (better known by its trade name Solu-Delta-Cortef), along with other “vitamins, minerals, or naturally occurring substances.”

And many people thought Lasix or adjunct bleeder medications were the only drugs permitted on race-day.

“We had talked with our horsemen near the end of last year’s meeting and spent a couple months on this during the summer,” said Peter Berube, Tampa Bay Downs vice president and general manager. “We were prepared to hire a vet (to administer furosemide, or Lasix), until we ran into the obstacle that horses can be administered Solu Delta. We have petitioned (the division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering) to reexamine the rule and amend it so we can bring this in house.”

One thing the track is doing to monitor horses on race day is posting clearly marked “in today” signs for horses scheduled to race. “That way the vets can find the horses easily and security can find them,” Berube said.

But Florida racing rules provide several reasons a veterinarian may enter the stall of a horse racing that day, and apparently there’s nothing a racetrack can do about it.

Product information from Pfizer on Solu-Delta-Cortef states the drug is a fast-acting agent that is useful in alleviating lameness from arthritic conditions. Pfizer also claims it is “helpful as supportive therapy in the treatment of stress-induced exhaustion, rattlesnake bites, toxemia, inflammatory ocular conditions and other stress conditions.”

One racetrack veterinarian told the Paulick Report the drug is used as a calming agent and that many practitioners believe it can help prevent heat stroke, though the only research done so far on that subject involves rabbits. Heat stroke is a concern for horses racing in Florida and other Southern states, especially during the spring and summer months.

Changing medication rules in Florida isn’t easy because it has to be done legislatively. The Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering is a branch of state government that merely enforces or interprets existing rules, and the Florida statute concerning medication (Chapter 550.2415) is quite clear on the permitted race-day use of furosemide, Solu-Delta-Cortef and vitamins and minerals.

Because of the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering’s lack of authority to adapt, tracks in the state have been forced to install house rules in a number of areas related to drug testing and security, including testing for TCO2 overages (better known as milkshaking). That testing is not overseen by the state.

Another strange section of the Florida racing statute is a requirement that a specific method of drug-testing (thin-layer chromatography) be used in screening for Class 4 and Class 5 therapeutic drugs, even though more effective and sensitive methodologies are available. This statute, lobbied for by the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, has effectively handcuffed test labs from reporting positives for some therapeutic drugs, including multiple corticosteroids.

These are the kind of state-by-state statutory or regulatory hurdles that make it extremely difficult for uniform medication or drug testing rules to be applied to the sport.

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

    Very interesting.  I nominate the great state of Florida for the most corrupt governmental supervision if racing…this article, combined with the “barrel racing” meets,  makes them a slam dunk

    • Greg Gelyon

      Corrupt is a poor choice of words. The division can only do or not do what the legislative statutes allow. To call the people at the division corrupt is slanderous.

      • Ace

         Never called them corrupt.  Called the state of Florida corrupt.

        • Pesosito1

          I live here and nothing surprises me about anything in this state. Remember, this is the state that has pari-mutual barrel racing. Biggest bunch of fruits and nuts you ever want to see. Nothing going on here makes any sense.

        • James Staples

          Its more like the hole UNION is CORRUPT!!!…BABY…ty…

      • Charlie Davis

        Where do you think the legislatures get the ideas for the statutes?  They certainly don’t decide things like limiting testing to a specific, not very accurate type.  

        • Greg Gelyon

          The ideas for the statutes come from lobbyists. The lobbyists write the statutes. The lobbyists are representatives for the horse tracks, for the breeders, for the pharmaceutical companies. I think it would be fair to say that almost all of the state senators and house reps, don’t know anything about horses. What they know they learn from the lobbyists. Lets say that a great law is written that would help the racing industry immensely. Once that law gets any steam, the real ‘fun” begins. The floor amendments come pooring in. The floor amendments usually kill the bill, and we are back to square one. It is not the division that is involved. The division is powerless when it comes to the statutes. They can however do rule changes, if the statutes do not get in the way. The rules process is lengthy and must follow a specific statute as well. that is what causes the delays in getting that done.

  • Ace

    Very interesting.  I nominate the great state of Florida for the most corrupt governmental supervision if racing…this article, combined with the “barrel racing” meets,  makes them a slam dunk

  • Cory Patton

    the only way to stop any shots within 24 hours is a 24 hour holding barn for all entrants 

    • No Penalties in Horse Racing

       Will never happen.   Most tracks receive 30% of their entries from shippers and that’s not fair to make a ship horse be in a foreign barn for 24 hrs.  Ship 24 hours early a lot of horses won’t eat because they are ready to run.

      • Cory Patton

        Is it fair to run a horse against guys that get to use whatever they want because they are at a farm?

        • Smchapman2

          The reason NY ceased the Race Day Detention Barn is that no trainer has enough help to spare one or two people to stay with the horse.  Unless it’s the Phipps’ barn, people are not paid to stand around. 
          Not to mention blowing a horse’s mind by moving out of his stall/routine unnecessarily early.

  • Cory Patton

    the only way to stop any shots within 24 hours is a 24 hour holding barn for all entrants 

  • Greg Gelyon

    Corrupt is a poor choice of words. The division can only do or not do what the legislative statutes allow. To call the people at the division corrupt is slanderous.

  • Ace

     Never called them corrupt.  Called the state of Florida corrupt.

  • Thegospeltruth

    I think Florida got this one right.  Solu-Delta-Cortef works great at preventing heat prostration, and this would only be necessary in Florida, Louisiana and maybe Texas.  What does Berube know about heat prostration?  His meet runs from December through April.  Class IV and Vs by TLC makes a whole lot of sense and establishes a threshold for therapeutics with little ability to compromise the outcome of a race.  Zero tolerence is not needed for this Class of medications.

    • Ace

       I’m sure you are one of the cheaters in Florida-anyone who has trained horses knows that as an aid for heat prostration SDC might be fine, but the reason it is used is to mask arthritic and other pain that can’t already be masked by the bute from the day before.  Stop your lying-this is the reason nobody believes this coverup.

      • Tinky

        Furthermore…

        “…be necessary in Florida, Louisiana and maybe Texas.”

        It’s “necessary” in those states, but somehow NOT in Singapore, Hong Kong, etc.!

        • Smchapman2

          Dubai, Quatar, Saudi Arabia…

  • Thegospeltruth

    I think Florida got this one right.  Solu-Delta-Cortef works great at preventing heat prostration, and this would only be necessary in Florida, Louisiana and maybe Texas.  What does Berube know about heat prostration?  His meet runs from December through April.  Class IV and Vs by TLC makes a whole lot of sense and establishes a threshold for therapeutics with little ability to compromise the outcome of a race.  Zero tolerence is not needed for this Class of medications.

  • FourCats

    Not sure why vitamins and minerals are in this article.  Does anyone seriously consider them “drugs”.

    • RayPaulick

      The point of including vitamin and minerals administration in the article is this: some states prohibit any veterinary treatments other than Lasix on race-day. The goal of these rules is to keep private practitioners out of a horse’s stall on the day it races. That is why more states are going to a third-party Lasix shot: to keep private vets out of the stall. Florida allows them in for several reasons, including vitamins, minerals, and “naturally occurring substances” (whatever that is).

      • Matt Clarke

         Ray, don’t you ever get tired of having to respond to people who either do not read or do not have the power to comprehend an article? Happy Thanksgiving!

  • FourCats

    Not sure why vitamins and minerals are in this article.  Does anyone seriously consider them “drugs”.

  • No Penalties in Horse Racing

    I’ve said this before but i’ll say it again.  The average racehorse in America receives five medications within 24 hour before walking in the starting gate.  Any person who refutes this is either lying or extremely naive.   They are any five (or more) of these injectable medications.  But hey they’re just “therapeutic” so no big deal, right?

    Bute
    Banamine
    Lasix
    Dexamethasone
    Vitamins
    Amino Acids
    Robinol
    ACTH
    Magnesium Sulfate
    DMSO
    Depo Medrol
    Liquid Aspirin
    L Arginine

    there are many many more too !!!

    • Stanley inman

      Anyone who has witnessed how bute
      can TRANSFORM
      A horses gait
      knows how powerful this drug is.
      Unfortunately that population is comprised by only horse trainers and vets.
      The drugs most fervant fans.
      It is an economic issue for both.
      Those of you who don’t train or go in the barn on a daily basis
      and have not seen the miracle firsthand-
      Please spare us your meaningless apologist retort.
      Why should we listen to you.

      • Bob

        That is complete hogwash. Bute does not makes a sore horse sound no more than Advil will make a sprained ankle or broken bone pain free in a human.

        • Stanley inman

          Hogwash?
          I’ve heard this “aspirin like” claim before;
          it was invented by a vet who is a sub-contractor for the HBPA.
          ask yourself why trainers wait 24-48hrs after a race to ascertain
          Soundness when given bute.
          Ask yourself why the HBPA is adamant about reducing bute levels.
          Ask yourself why all other major racing circuits have a longer time frame to administer bute before a race.
          How do you reconcile these facts bob with your claim?

          • Stanley inman

            Should read;
            “adamant about not reducing bute levels”

    • Smchapman2

      If you believe this BS, you’re walking into the wrong barns and talking to the wrong veterinarians.  FYI:  L Arginine is a vitamin supplement. 

      • Matt Clarke

         At least get your facts right. L Arginine is a powerful vascular dilator, which lowers blood pressure. It has been shown to be very beneficial in preventing EIPH. Prior to being available as an injectable, GNC and the like sold it as Nitric Oxide to bodybuilders and weight lifters because it is is believed it aids in the prevention of lactic acid buildup in muscles.

    • Mr. Moo

      You forgot vodka

    • Raytmmmm55

      Obviously written by someone on the outside looking in. If I were to make a list to prove a point as you did, I would have started with the really really bad stuff that actually makes a difference during the race. No I am not going to give a free education to what they are. Most of what you have listed, trainers and vets administer for post race recovery. 

      That’s the problem with the great drug debate, too many people who have never breed, owned, trained or treated a horse, weighing an opinion on medications that they have absolutely no first hand experience with.

      By the way to the article, Florida’s vet lobby is far more powerful than you people can ever imagine. Over 10K private practice vets and one of the biggest and best vet universities in the world.

      • Stanley inman

        Hey ray,
        Did I miss something-not a single piece of factual support
        for your claims.
        Do your best horsemen impressions at the gap tomorrow morning,
        You’ll find a more sympathetic audience for your tired tack room
        Distortions

        • Raytmmm55

          Wow Really Stanley. Wasn’t long ago you asked for my advise standing at that rail….

          Looking at your training record, you haven’t taken any…..

          Look at your post about bute…… invented by an HBPA Vet…. Really…. Google it and give yourself a bit of an education before you run off… Formulated in 1948 FOR HUMAN USE….. Was ineffective as a pain reliever/anti inflam…..

          Over 1100 starts 23% ITM, $1.6M in earnings..I’ll do my best impressions, can’t wait to see you again at MTR….LMAO

          • Stanley inman

            Hey ray,
            Sorry I can’t recall our conversation
            My memory is goin…

            But,
            At least I got you to laugh;
            Think of me as a provocateur;
            Trying to open everybody’s mind
            (especially guys that have been in the trenches.)
            Eistein said “if you keep doin the same thing
            And expect different outcome You’re an idiot)
            Now before you get your knickers all bunched
            This conversation isn’t about me or you;
            Its about searching for a better way.
            How is it that you can have a conversation with me
            And later refer to it without identifying yourself?

            My bute comment was not in reference to it’s invention,
            But a reference explaining this notion that “it’s like an aspirin”
            This very knowledgeable man I refer to
            Picked this explanation
            (Dummying it down)
            So that you and others might
            Understand.
            The operative word is “like” not
            “Aspirin”
            Good luck with your horses

    • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

      Mite as well throw some coke in that cocktale…Damn… 

    • Janet delcastillo

      If you ask a University-Equine hospital  Vet what the effect of various of these medications is (used long term…every race day), you would learn that founder, ulcers, weakened bone and atrophy of adrenal glands are just some of the side effects. Short term fix for long term disaster!

  • No Penalties in Horse Racing

    I’ve said this before but i’ll say it again.  The average racehorse in America receives five medications within 24 hour before walking in the starting gate.  Any person who refutes this is either lying or extremely naive.   They are any five (or more) of these injectable medications.  But hey they’re just “therapeutic” so no big deal, right?

    Bute
    Banamine
    Lasix
    Dexamethasone
    Vitamins
    Amino Acids
    Robinol
    ACTH
    Magnesium Sulfate
    DMSO
    Depo Medrol
    Liquid Aspirin
    L Arginine

    there are many many more too !!!

  • No Penalties in Horse Racing

     Will never happen.   Most tracks receive 30% of their entries from shippers and that’s not fair to make a ship horse be in a foreign barn for 24 hrs.  Ship 24 hours early a lot of horses won’t eat because they are ready to run.

  • Gallop

    What we’re clearly missing is the giant internet community generated detailed matrix of differences in rules and regs between jurisdictions. How hard would that be?

    • No Penalties in Horse Racing

      Very hard without federal involvement.   Same reason some states have 70 mph and others have 65 mph.  Meets are run as state meets.  What should happen is the Feds should ammend the Horse Racing act that says if you want your signal exported across state lines you need to adhere to national rules.  However, to this point Udall has been nothing but a blowhard.

      • Rachel

        Well, the feds do have to work within the framework of the 10th amendment, pesky thing, that constitution. Lol…but I would think because of interstate gambling they could get a set of uniform drug rules, if they wanted to.

  • Gallop

    What we’re clearly missing is the giant internet community generated detailed matrix of differences in rules and regs between jurisdictions. How hard would that be?

  • Ace

     I’m sure you are one of the cheaters in Florida-anyone who has trained horses knows that as an aid for heat prostration SDC might be fine, but the reason it is used is to mask arthritic and other pain that can’t already be masked by the bute from the day before.  Stop your lying-this is the reason nobody believes this coverup.

  • RayPaulick

    The point of including vitamin and minerals administration in the article is this: some states prohibit any veterinary treatments other than Lasix on race-day. The goal of these rules is to keep private practitioners out of a horse’s stall on the day it races. That is why more states are going to a third-party Lasix shot: to keep private vets out of the stall. Florida allows them in for several reasons, including vitamins, minerals, and “naturally occurring substances” (whatever that is).

  • PTP

    If my memory serves, the Horseplayers Assn looked into the changing of the turf scratch rule in FL several years ago. I think it took them like 18 months to fix it.

    Going by that, these medication thingamajig might be fixed by 2018.

    PTP

    • Ace

       Nope.  Never.

  • PTP

    If my memory serves, the Horseplayers Assn looked into the changing of the turf scratch rule in FL several years ago. I think it took them like 18 months to fix it.

    Going by that, these medication thingamajig might be fixed by 2018.

    PTP

  • No Penalties in Horse Racing

    Very hard without federal involvement.   Same reason some states have 70 mph and others have 65 mph.  Meets are run as state meets.  What should happen is the Feds should ammend the Horse Racing act that says if you want your signal exported across state lines you need to adhere to national rules.  However, to this point Udall has been nothing but a blowhard.

  • Tinky

    Furthermore…

    “…be necessary in Florida, Louisiana and maybe Texas.”

    It’s “necessary” in those states, but somehow NOT in Singapore, Hong Kong, etc.!

  • Pesosito1

    I live here and nothing surprises me about anything in this state. Remember, this is the state that has pari-mutual barrel racing. Biggest bunch of fruits and nuts you ever want to see. Nothing going on here makes any sense.

  • Stanley inman

    Anyone who has witnessed how bute
    can TRANSFORM
    A horses gait
    knows how powerful this drug is.
    Unfortunately that population is comprised by only horse trainers and vets.
    The drugs most fervant fans.
    It is an economic issue for both.
    Those of you who don’t train or go in the barn on a daily basis
    and have not seen the miracle firsthand-
    Please spare us your meaningless apologist retort.
    Why should we listen to you.

  • Ace

     Nope.  Never.

  • Cory Patton

    Is it fair to run a horse against guys that get to use whatever they want because they are at a farm?

  • danzig

    Sorry but between the KY escapades, FL insane regulations and a laundry list of ineptitude at the state level…the racing industry is going to have to recognize that federal intervention and oversight is the only way to achieve uniform medication and drug testing policies.

    • Ace

       Yes, that’s true, but they don’t want to achieve uniformity.  They want to keep the status quo to continue cheating.

  • danzig

    Sorry but between the KY escapades, FL insane regulations and a laundry list of ineptitude at the state level…the racing industry is going to have to recognize that federal intervention and oversight is the only way to achieve uniform medication and drug testing policies.

  • Rachel

    Well, the feds do have to work within the framework of the 10th amendment, pesky thing, that constitution. Lol…but I would think because of interstate gambling they could get a set of uniform drug rules, if they wanted to.

  • Ace

     Yes, that’s true, but they don’t want to achieve uniformity.  They want to keep the status quo to continue cheating.

  • James Staples

    Its more like the hole UNION is CORRUPT!!!…BABY…ty…

  • roger

    Gulfstream Park begins their 90 day Meet a week from Saturday (Dec.1)…..the start of a new exciting racing season.

  • roger

    Gulfstream Park begins their 90 day Meet a week from Saturday (Dec.1)…..the start of a new exciting racing season.

  • SteveG

    The loopholes here are large enough for the unscrupulous to drive a truck through.
     
     

  • SteveG

    The loopholes here are large enough for the unscrupulous to drive a truck through.
     
     

  • Bob

    Thank God that the Florida Pari-Mutuel Wagering does not have the power to change the medication rules. The last thing we need is for the same group that decided that barrel racing is a pari mutuel sport deciding something as important as medication rules. That would be even crazier then letting these hay oats and water nuts decide

  • Bob

    Thank God that the Florida Pari-Mutuel Wagering does not have the power to change the medication rules. The last thing we need is for the same group that decided that barrel racing is a pari mutuel sport deciding something as important as medication rules. That would be even crazier then letting these hay oats and water nuts decide

  • Smchapman2

    If you believe this BS, you’re walking into the wrong barns and talking to the wrong veterinarians.  FYI:  L Arginine is a vitamin supplement. 

  • Smchapman2

    Dubai, Quatar, Saudi Arabia…

  • Bob

    That is complete hogwash. Bute does not makes a sore horse sound no more than Advil will make a sprained ankle or broken bone pain free in a human.

  • Smchapman2

    The reason NY ceased the Race Day Detention Barn is that no trainer has enough help to spare one or two people to stay with the horse.  Unless it’s the Phipps’ barn, people are not paid to stand around. 
    Not to mention blowing a horse’s mind by moving out of his stall/routine unnecessarily early.

  • Charlie Davis

    Where do you think the legislatures get the ideas for the statutes?  They certainly don’t decide things like limiting testing to a specific, not very accurate type.  

  • Greg Gelyon

    The ideas for the statutes come from lobbyists. The lobbyists write the statutes. The lobbyists are representatives for the horse tracks, for the breeders, for the pharmaceutical companies. I think it would be fair to say that almost all of the state senators and house reps, don’t know anything about horses. What they know they learn from the lobbyists. Lets say that a great law is written that would help the racing industry immensely. Once that law gets any steam, the real ‘fun” begins. The floor amendments come pooring in. The floor amendments usually kill the bill, and we are back to square one. It is not the division that is involved. The division is powerless when it comes to the statutes. They can however do rule changes, if the statutes do not get in the way. The rules process is lengthy and must follow a specific statute as well. that is what causes the delays in getting that done.

  • Mr. Moo

    You forgot vodka

  • Stanley inman

    Hogwash?
    I’ve heard this “aspirin like” claim before;
    it was invented by a vet who is a sub-contractor for the HBPA.
    ask yourself why trainers wait 24-48hrs after a race to ascertain
    Soundness when given bute.
    Ask yourself why the HBPA is adamant about reducing bute levels.
    Ask yourself why all other major racing circuits have a longer time frame to administer bute before a race.
    How do you reconcile these facts bob with your claim?

  • Stanley inman

    Should read;
    “adamant about not reducing bute levels”

  • Thelibrarian

     And many people thought Lasix or adjunct bleeder medications were the only drugs permitted on race-day. Yeah…and MANY people are clueless too!

  • Thelibrarian

     And many people thought Lasix or adjunct bleeder medications were the only drugs permitted on race-day. Yeah…and MANY people are clueless too!

  • Raytmmmm55

    Obviously written by someone on the outside looking in. If I were to make a list to prove a point as you did, I would have started with the really really bad stuff that actually makes a difference during the race. No I am not going to give a free education to what they are. Most of what you have listed, trainers and vets administer for post race recovery. 

    That’s the problem with the great drug debate, too many people who have never breed, owned, trained or treated a horse, weighing an opinion on medications that they have absolutely no first hand experience with.

    By the way to the article, Florida’s vet lobby is far more powerful than you people can ever imagine. Over 10K private practice vets and one of the biggest and best vet universities in the world.

  • Stanley inman

    Hey ray,
    Did I miss something-not a single piece of factual support
    for your claims.
    Do your best horsemen impressions at the gap tomorrow morning,
    You’ll find a more sympathetic audience for your tired tack room
    Distortions

  • Roisin

    A holding barn worked at Belmont for that leg of the Triple Crown this year !!!

  • Roisin

    A holding barn worked at Belmont for that leg of the Triple Crown this year !!!

  • Matt Clarke

     At least get your facts right. L Arginine is a powerful vascular dilator, which lowers blood pressure. It has been shown to be very beneficial in preventing EIPH. Prior to being available as an injectable, GNC and the like sold it as Nitric Oxide to bodybuilders and weight lifters because it is is believed it aids in the prevention of lactic acid buildup in muscles.

  • Matt Clarke

     Ray, don’t you ever get tired of having to respond to people who either do not read or do not have the power to comprehend an article? Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Raytmmm55

    Wow Really Stanley. Wasn’t long ago you asked for my advise standing at that rail….

    Looking at your training record, you haven’t taken any…..

    Look at your post about bute…… invented by an HBPA Vet…. Really…. Google it and give yourself a bit of an education before you run off… Formulated in 1948 FOR HUMAN USE….. Was ineffective as a pain reliever/anti inflam…..

    Over 1100 starts 23% ITM, $1.6M in earnings..I’ll do my best impressions, can’t wait to see you again at MTR….LMAO

  • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

    Mite as well throw some coke in that cocktale…Damn… 

  • Stanley inman

    Hey ray,
    Sorry I can’t recall our conversation
    My memory is goin…

    But,
    At least I got you to laugh;
    Think of me as a provocateur;
    Trying to open everybody’s mind
    (especially guys that have been in the trenches.)
    Eistein said “if you keep doin the same thing
    And expect different outcome You’re an idiot)
    Now before you get your knickers all bunched
    This conversation isn’t about me or you;
    Its about searching for a better way.
    How is it that you can have a conversation with me
    And later refer to it without identifying yourself?

    My bute comment was not in reference to it’s invention,
    But a reference explaining this notion that “it’s like an aspirin”
    This very knowledgeable man I refer to
    Picked this explanation
    (Dummying it down)
    So that you and others might
    Understand.
    The operative word is “like” not
    “Aspirin”
    Good luck with your horses

  • Janet delcastillo

    If you ask a University-Equine hospital  Vet what the effect of various of these medications is (used long term…every race day), you would learn that founder, ulcers, weakened bone and atrophy of adrenal glands are just some of the side effects. Short term fix for long term disaster!

Twitter