U.S. Senate to examine drugs in horse racing

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


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

“Medication and Performance Enhancing Drugs in Horse Racing” will be in the spotlight next Thursday in Washington, D.C., when the United States Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation conducts a hearing that will bring together both opponents and proponents of the horse racing industry’s current regulatory structure and permissive use of therapeutic medication in horses, including the race-day diuretic furosemide.

Medication and Performance Enhancing Drugs in Horseracing will be in the spotlight next Thursday in Washington, D.C., when the United States Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation conducts a hearing that will bring together both opponents and proponents of the horse racing industry’s current regulatory structure and permissive use of therapeutic medication in horses, including the race-day diuretic furosemide.
The hearing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. 
This will be the second Congressional hearing in the last three months examining drugs and horse racing. In late April, the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health conducted a hearing entitled  “A Review of Efforts to Protect Jockeys and Horses in Horseracing.” The House subcommittee included Kentucky Rep. Ed Whitfield, co-sponsor of the Interstate Horseracing Improvement Act of 2011, which would ban all drugs in a horse’s system on the day it races, require drug testing labs to meet international standards for accreditation, and impose strict penalties for rule violators.
Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico is a member of the Commerce Committee and co-sponsor of the same bill.
The committee has not released its complete list of those expected to testify, but the Paulick Report has learned it includes Barry Irwin, head of Team Valor International racing partnerships and an outspoken opponent of race-day medication. Also invited to appear is Kent Stirling, president of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association’s Medication Committee that supports current medication practices.
It is expected representatives from the American Quarter Horse Association, The Jockey Club, and a state regulatory agency or the Association of Racing Commissioners International will also appear. 
The committee will examine current use of medication and performance enhancing drugs in horse racing, focusing on their negative effects, and will also look at the current state of industry practices and whether state-based regulatory model is sufficient.
The Interstate Horseracing Improvement Act of 2011, introduced in April 2011, expires at the end of 2012, and its likelihood of passage seemed remote earlier this year. However, with the series of investigative articles in the New York Times, the recent rash of positive tests for the powerful painkiller dermorphin, and the high-profile suspension of Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Doug O’Neill for a 2010 violation related to an elevated total carbon dioxide reading in one of his horses, there may be additional support.”Medication and Performance Enhancing Drugs in Horse Racing” will be in the spotlight next Thursday in Washington, D.C., when the United States Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation conducts a hearing that will bring together both opponents and proponents of the horse racing industry’s current regulatory structure and permissive use of therapeutic medication in horses, including the race-day diuretic furosemide.

The hearing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. in the Russell Building, Room 253. It will be lived-streamed at www.commerce.senate.gov.

This will be the second Congressional hearing in the last three months examining drugs and horse racing. In late April, the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health conducted a hearing entitled  “A Review of Efforts to Protect Jockeys and Horses in Horseracing.” The House subcommittee included Kentucky Rep. Ed Whitfield, co-sponsor of the Interstate Horseracing Improvement Act of 2011, which would ban all drugs in a horse’s system on the day it races, require drug testing labs to meet international standards for accreditation, and impose strict penalties for rule violators.

Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico is a member of the Commerce Committee and co-sponsor of the same bill.

The committee has not released its complete list of those expected to testify, but the Paulick Report has learned it includes Barry Irwin, head of Team Valor International racing partnerships and an outspoken opponent of race-day medication. Also invited to appear is Kent Stirling, president of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association’s Medication Committee that supports current medication practices.

It is expected representatives from the American Quarter Horse Association, The Jockey Club, and a state regulatory agency or the Association of Racing Commissioners International will also appear. 

The committee will examine current use of medication and performance enhancing drugs in horse racing, focusing on their negative effects, and will also look at the current state of industry practices and whether state-based regulatory model is sufficient.

The Interstate Horseracing Improvement Act of 2011, introduced in April 2011, expires at the end of 2012, and its likelihood of passage seemed remote earlier this year. However, with the series of investigative articles in the New York Times, the recent rash of positive tests for the powerful painkiller dermorphin, and the high-profile suspension of Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Doug O’Neill for a 2010 violation related to an elevated total carbon dioxide reading in one of his horses, there may be additional support.

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
  • Five2three

    OML,talk about must see tv.cspan will be on my tv for this one. its been a long time coming.

  • Ida Lee

    Wow…and we think horse racing has issues now!!!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GN75TMMTTZCDAKCKWH4QH6RDYQ Ronald T

    This will be nothing more than a handful of pre-selected peacocks paraded in front of a bunch of election year politicians who wouldn’t know a bute shot from a bourbon shot….they might be better off with the bute….

  • Canarse

    You are correct, but this is what happens when an industry does a poor job of regulating itself.  

  • David

    To date the “debate” has been nothing but a ‘who shot John’ mishmash to most industry participants and fans and, to you’re point, it’ll make perfect sense to these guys.

  • Five2three

    its going to be extremely difficult for any horsemen to sit in front of the congressional body of the united states of America and explain that we need to use something that the rest of the world does not. finally our lumbering slow to act, do nothing congress is getting something done.

  • Francis Bush

    What for? The Senate hasn’t done anything right for years. Chances are they will find out that too much medication is being used to force horses to run better. Won’t that be a sizeable discovery.

  • horse

    Who is going to pay Roger Clemens for his testamony?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=724561658 Gordon Calhoun

    They forgot to include that hack writer Joe Drape.  Though I am confused…what will Congess actually do? nothing.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am in favor of race day Lasix-ban.  But they are attempting to “investigate” several different issues, many of which are already illegal.

  • Okeydokey

    The goverment took over running the RANCH in Nevada one year and it went bust..if you can’t keep a legal house of repute in business, how are they going to keep a nation of horseracers in check?

  • Thevoiceoftruth69

     We should all play a game where we take shots every time a stupid question is asked by an uninformed politician.

  • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

    This is just the start of something GOOD!!!…the so called stewards of “THE GAME” (it is a National Treasure) have totally neglected IT…they had many chances to make major changes over the last FIFTY years & failed BIG TIME to do so…SHAME on them & all that had their dirty little hands IN turning “THE GAME” into a NATIONAL DISGRACE with very little if any EXPOSURE…ever wonder why???…well now its going to get a TON of EXPOSURE!!!…think for one second the FBI/DEA doesn’t have a CLUE???…BETTER THINK AGAIN BABY!!!…

  • Tired

    Just what the US needs, more legislation by a bunch of brain-dead pols with votes going to the highest bidder. It is a shame that racing cannot properly regulate itself, especially so by punishing violators of the rules by carrying out serious punishments for them. A little ‘slap on the hands’ has never, and will never, be a deterrent. Sometimes horse people have less intelligence than the creatures they own and care for. 

  • FE Davidson

    Senate “hearings” are typically nothing other than a soap box for self-serving politicians to grandstand and pontificate, based upon limited information and insight.  With that said, the only thing which stands in the way of a useful “hearing” is the composition of the witnesses.  With the exception of Barry Irwin, who has certianly been known to speak his mind from time to time, if the Committee merely parades a group of industry insiders, seeking to maintain the status quo or promote superfical “band-aid” fixes, through the process, then it will probably be a waste of time, which is the rule, not the exception, within the Beltway.

    Alternatively, if participants who have been adversely impacted by the cheating and who see the drug-related travesties on a daily basis are included as witnesses, then perhaps some enlightenment might occur.  However, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I certainly haven’t been asked to testify…..but then again, like the rest of the less visible participants in the industry, our opinion is typically overlooked.

    Will the Sentate take effective action in the aftermath of the “hearing”?  Most likely not.  Or rather, not a chance.  Might it spur some further debate within the industry and on Capital Hill?  We can only hope.  More importantly, will the “clean” operations someday ban together and be heard as a group?  That must be an objective.  Don’t let the cheaters, and those ignoring their misdeeds, push you around any longer.  Stand up and be heard!

  • Equineplay2003

    Barry Irwin? Why? Isn’t there going to be enough hot air in the room?

  • Jim

    i TRAINED RACE HORSES IN THE 70′S AND 80′S, THE DRUGS THEY USE TODAY ARE MIND BOGGLING. bLOOD BUILDERS, AND PAIN KILLERS LIKE FROG JUICE MAKE HORSES GO FASTER AND FURTHER THAN THEY SHOULD. THE SLOT MONEY FOR PURSES HAS CAUSED THE BEST CRIMINALS TO JOIN HORSES RACING. GOOD LUCK CATCHING UP TO THE CROOKS. IF YOU REALLY WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE PUT LOADS OF MONEY INTO TESTING LABS..

  • sittin’ chilly

    Sure, politicians are an easy target. But remember that it was the threat of Congress removing baseball’s anti-trust exemption that made them finally do something about steroids. We can only hope for a similar result.

  • Concerned Observer

    The Interstate Horseracing Act IHA gave us a special situation to allow and conduct gambling across state lines. If our industry fails to live up to the expectations of this special priviledge, is the federal government supposed to ignore it and just look the other way? Or should they hold us accountable?

    We should not let our frustrations with our current governments many roadblocks blind us to the true responsibilities of a properly functioning government.

  • cepatton28

    Maybe there will be some talk of a national racing Czar to get us out of this mess…

  • Skvescovo

    Would love to see Maggi Moss there as well…everyone, I persnally know, in New Mexico does NOT support Udalls Lasix ban! Thank God for Tom Tobin, Kent Stirling and all the others that actually have an understanding of the industry.

  • Berra

    The Yankees?

  • May Flower

    Exactly Jim, how could racing possibly think that it would be safe for horses and beneficial to the reputation of “the game” to dangle and squander tons of slots money in front of owners and trainers of slow, devaluated, infirm and spent horses and tempt evil-doing with and without drugs?

     

  • May Flower

    You still don’t get it: It is because of drugs and drug junkies that “the game” is where it is today. Loving drugs and money without pity toward horses is why we are where we are today and I hope that Barry Irwin nails Kent Stirling to the wall.

  • Curious

    Ray, why are they having hearings now? I understand COmmerce may try to tack this onto existing legislation and push it through. Any thoughts?

  • http://twitter.com/EquineProject EquineProject

    The anti-medication stance would carry more weight if those owners/trainers ran their horses on hay/oats/water. But most don’t. And the level playing field argument doesn’t hold water. If you believe the medication is such a negative and hurtful to the animals and you still use them, then what does that say about you?  

  • Lou Baranello

    Jim, Your suggestion of increased funding for testing purposes is a great one.  After the funding for better testing produces an even greater number of positive tests, where are you going to find a Board Of Stewards to impose a sentence of enough years to get the attention of trainers contemplating taking a shot with the next exotic drug to come along?  It doesn’t stop there!  Regardless of the adjudication made by the stewards, there will probably be an appeal to that state’s racing commission where these severe penalties must be upheld.  If those two actions are not forthcoming, the result will be “More of the same”.  This is where the problem lies.  The regulators are not regulating and the cheating trainers have little or nothing to fear.

  • Mdphysed

    This is not about whether horses should or should not be administered race-day medication. This is an example of what racing is like WITHOUT its own governing body and getting the government involved (again) where it has no business whatsover. This sport needs to be policed from within, and abusive trainers, owners, etc.,need to be banned without multiple warnings and puny fines. It’s sickening that the tax payer will once again be footing the bill for incompetence. 

  • Sean Kerr

    You all may find this to be interesting: the proposed Interstate Horseracing Improvement Act uses the ARCI drug classification list as part of the bill’s definition of performance enhancing medications: there are over 900 medications described as Class I (dope that enhances) to Class V (therapeutics that don’t enhance) – only one drug is not classified: furosemide (Lasix/Salix). It is the only drug classified as ‘N/A’ – so are the authorities telling us that here is a drug that is ‘nothing’? It does not do anything? No wonder horse racing is in such a mess. And congress is trying to legislate ‘nothing’, ‘nada’, ‘don’t know’ as an act. http://www.arci.com/Racing_Com

  • May Flower

    Chasing the cheats and their latest drugs does not work. The abuse which includes the drugging of horses to kill pain and dope must be prevented.

  • Bernard

     Barry Irwin needs exposure to help sell horses. He buys ready made horses that he already knows don’t bleed or have soundness issues. He is just trying to make a buck. Everyone knows what he says means nothing.

  • Barry Irwin

    Nobody says the drugs don’t work. Of course they work. That is NOT the issue. The issue is that the horses and the sport would be better served if horses ran without drugs, because the playing field would be more level. What does it say about you that you cannot understand such a simple point as this? The rest of the world is all wrong and America is right on this issue? C’mon pal, gimme a break.

  • Barry Irwin

    I think that the word Czar sounds too Communist like for any politician. Suggest another title.

  • Barry Irwin

    What type of whoreses did that have at that ranch, anyway?

  • http://twitter.com/EquineProject EquineProject

    The point is too many people talk but won’t actually take action. So take a stand and don’t run yours on medication.  Start a trend. Simple. But don’t give me the high and mighty speech and then allow your animals to be treated on race day.

  • http://www.facebook.com/barry.roos Barry Roos

    You are totally missing the point Irwin.  He/She isn’t saying drugs don’t work, he is saying if you don’t believe horses should be treated, then don’t treat yours, otherwise you look like a buffoon with no integrity who will abuse his animals as long as it is permissible.  If you have a belief, then show some stones and stand behind it and challenge others to do the same.  And BTW, it is funny, he/she never mentioned you, but in your narcissistic delusion you think everything is about you.

  • http://twitter.com/ROpinion R. Opinion

    Stand behind your beliefs Irwin, you sound so small. “If everyone else stops using, then I will too”.  Be a trailblazer, not a follower. Show some stones, and be the first. 

  • Tinky

    What on earth does tapping and blocking have to do with bleeding?

  • Tinky

    First of all, he is leading both by being outspoken on the issue, and by racing some of his young horses without Lasix.

    More importantly, it is idiotic to ask someone to commit business suicide in order to make a point. His older runners have been using the Lasix crutch, and it would be particularly dangerous to stop using it on them. His stable would also be at a distinct, competitive disadvantage.

  • Don Reed

    Simple.  Remember how our politicians got these great rates from Countrywide, prior to that company going down the drain?  And how cooperative they were with the political issues facing the mortgage lenders, quid pro quo?

    Racing’s national authority (quick, create one!) needs to set up a new mortage company. 

    Sure, it’ll be a loss leader.  But think of the respect racing could finally get in WDC.

  • Don Reed

    Racing should get an exception from the anti-trust provisions, in accordance with the trend: no one really trusts the people running horse racing.

  • http://twitter.com/ROpinion R. Opinion

    People with morals don’t do things they believe cause harm. So if he is to run his horses on medications, then he shows a distinct lack of character. This is a moral issue not a business one.

  • Don Reed

    Why is it that people with no stones to lose are the first to encourage others to lose theirs?

  • Triplecrownquest

    The US Senate has NO clue how to run our country…if they get involved..horse racing is finished.  How can ANYONE with common sense think that this is good?? 

  • Don Reed

    “Rasputin” has a nice ring to it.

  • Tinky

    It’s good not because there is any expectation of the Government actually running the sport, but because it serves as a WAKE-UP call to the industry. Much like the Barry Bonds steroid hearings, etc.

  • Tinky

    Nonsense. Lasix causes harm to the industry, and Irwin has a better chance of helping to change the status quo from within.

  • http://twitter.com/ROpinion R. Opinion

    So when the horses are choking on their own blood which they will, what then? Rest, ok. Then when they are freshened and come back and bleed, then what? Retire?  Won’t happen. But as long as the politicians are happy, I guess you too will be happy.  Everyone wins but the poor animals who need lasix.

  • Tinky

    You apparently have quite a low opinion of Americans who are involved with racehorses. Two-thirds of the world does just fine without Lasix, and their horses are generally healthier and last longer.

    Yes, the bad bleeders SHOULD be retired, and known to breeders as such.

  • Cepatton28

    Ok lets call it a commissioner who is elected by licensed horse owners with at least one start in the election year.    Then there should be a separate appeals board made up of stewards at tracks outside the jurisdictions where an infraction occurs.  

    On my own behalf I would like some owners to give me a couple decent horses to train.  If anyone would pull up the pps on the horses I have trained they will see I do an excellent job with the stock I have had.

  • Cepatton28

    Would it make more sense to spend a ludicrous amount of money on a yearling that is intense sales prep which may include steroids than to buy a proven runner?

  • http://twitter.com/ROpinion R. Opinion

    True, the European horses last longer. BUT they have a short season and few starts. BUT they also bleed and their trainers do treat horses  although not on race day. And as far as your comments about bad bleeders needing to be retired, I agree. But what about the other 90+ percent?  Should they all be retired rather than a small dose of lasix? 

  • http://twitter.com/ROpinion R. Opinion

    The comment said to show some stones not encouraging anyone to lose them. Apparently Don Reed you Don’t Read very well.

  • Tinky

    “But what about the other 90+ percent?  Should they all be retired rather than a small dose of lasix? “

    What are you talking about? Horses in THIS country averaged 30+ career starts before Laisx was even invented. Now they average 11. And you’re worried about taking drugs away from them?

  • http://twitter.com/ROpinion R. Opinion

    Great lets go back to  the 50′s, when no one cared about the welfare of animals. When they couldn’t run, they were killed. The point is  that 90+ percent bleed. It is a fact. Period. And taking away lasix won’t help, only make animals suffer. 

  • Tinky

    If you believe that two-thirds of the horses in the world are suffering on a regular basis, then there’s no point in continuing the discussion.

    Thanks to the ridiculous Disqus system, there’s not much point in any case…

  • Triplcrownquest

    Barry Bonds using steroids did not ruin Baseball.  The US Govt involved in Horse Racing would destroy it and quickly.  Just like they are doing to this country.

  • Tinky

    Who said anything about Bonds ruining baseball? The obvious point is that industries which are unwilling to police themselves run the risk of Governement involvement. That’s what happened with baseball (and the NFL is at risk with the concussion issue), and horse racing is in the same boat.

  • Barry Irwin

    You gotta love an anonymous poster advising me to show some stones! I am racing my new 2yo this season without Lasix and we already have a 4 3/4-length Churchill Downs mdn special winner.

  • Barry Irwin

    Welcome to the Paulick Report R. Opinion. Your history is all of 1 day old. I love these anonymous people that appear out of thin air. So mysterious.

  • Barry Irwin

    Bernard obviously is unaware of the unraced horses and homebreds that I have won Grade 1 races with over the past few racing seasons. Perhaps he should visit my website to enlighten himself.

  • Barry Irwin

    I say old chap, a spot of tea perhaps?

  • Don Reed

    They don’t seem to realize that since the racing blog community consists of about 250 people (alas for the sport), there’s no crowd to hide in.  No author long remains incognito, in these them thar parts, pard.

    My theory (I’m paranoid) is that Andy Beyer’s bored and trying to see how long a practical joke can run. 

    No?  Could R.O. actually be Barry Bonds?  Fred F. French III? G.G. Puppoon, of the never-published Dick Francis thriller, “The Lasix Lassitudes?”

    Does he know how to shoe a horse?

  • Stanley inman

    Interesting,
    The apologists giving advice to anti raceday meds group about the best approach to go without lasix.
    “start a trend…”(?)
    The trend started march 2011,
    The train is moving albeit slower than one had hoped,
    but thats because we are draggin about 1000 plus Empty (morally) box cars of dead weight with us;
    So now you bravely step forward to point the way,
    Jump on board my friend, take a seat,
    Just spare us your “talk” about leading the trend,
    stop criticizing those who had the courage to step forward.
    It’s so tedious.

  • SteveG

    It’s quite debilitating for any business to allow a fundamental aspect of what they do to stay mired in controversy, to be inept at resolving it or to appear inert & unwilling to resolve it.

    I simply cannot imagine a well-run business would allow it.

    Welcome to the hydra-headed world of horseracing.

    Issue:  raceday meds.  Fundamental question: do we medicate on racedays or not?

    We don’t know & we can’t figure it out.  That’s just splendid, Ollie.  Why, thank you, Stanley. (tip of the bowler)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kathryn-Baker/100000670932928 Kathryn Baker

    If they handle horse racing like they have handled the horse slaughter issue, nothing will get done. I would hope this could do some good, but history shows that do nothings are more prevalent than ever in our Congress.

  • David

    You say the words.  This business is populated with individuals who could (apparently) care less about any sort of legacy; being the only one left standing appears a more worthy objective than firming ground for future generations.  Easy to stop caring.

  • Stanley inman

    “…we don’t know and we can’t figure it out…”
    That’s because you are not looking in the right place;
    If your gaze is focused on the traditional power sources (hbpa, toba, ntra, tra, tjc, etc.)
    it is understandable why no apparent consensual leadership is evident.
    These groups function today much like zombie banks-who pretend they are still solvent.
    We understand their leadership pool is bankrupt and their future leadership role will be circumsized.
    some are quietly allowing the rest of us to carry the water for them;
    They inaccurately think they can cut to the head of the line,
    as they have in the past,
    But the power centers are being reconfigured as we speak,
    The rising voice is the “public”,
    Outsiders who will no longer tolerate the mismanagement
    Of the sport by insiders.
    Believe it will happen and it will.
    But this is a new day and that will not happen.

  • Stanley inman

    Should read, “circumscribed”
    (But my Freudian slip is appropriate)

  • wallyhorse

    Exactly Barry:

    Number one issue is to phase out Lasix, which to me is a big reason why horses don’t race as often.  What this heat wave has shown is how much lasix has changed the game, especially with all the cancellations we’ve had due to heat that we NEVER had prior to around 2006 or so.

  • Stanley inman

    So true,
    Just imagine 90plus degrees and giving a diuretic 4 hours before competing;
    And running your guts out.
    Does it have to get to 100 plus before
    We think about the horse?
    We look like the most ruthless bastards on the planet to horse lovers.
    Maybe we are.

  • Stanley inman

    AND
    Our horsemen leadership ( bob Baffert & Rick Violette) stand up for the horse and proclaim;
    Lasix is good;
    what about the deplorable size of fields
    for maiden two year olds.

  • wallyhorse

    Exactly Stanley:

    We have too many horsemen these days who came up through quarter horse racing as opposed to those who came up where distance racing was king.  That is a real problem that no one has addressed.

    I hope people realize how many cancellations we’ve had these days as opposed to years past can be directly attributed to lasix and its effects.  We saw the effects just last weekend at Churchill when a lot of horses ran sub-par efforts even at night following days when it was in the low-to-mid 100s.

  • wallyhorse

    LOL Don!!

  • SteveG

    Stanley, I confess to being unsure whether or not I’ve followed the serpentine path your words are traveling
    through the reading comprehension portion of my brain.

    In other words, you lost me a few times & totally threw me with your final couplet.

    “ Believe it will happen and it will.  But this is a new day and that will not happen.”

    What will happen?  What will not happen?

    Ground control to Stanley.

  • Big Red

    We need the government to step in and finalize the rules and live with it since we can not do it internally.

    I’m tired of the crap being handed out from folks like Barry Irwin who talks out of both sides of his mouth. In one breath he wants to discontine the use of lasix however the majority of his horses use it. As for his 2 y/o’s, are they going to be lasix free forever ?? I’ll bet the one that got beat by 24+ lenghts at Bel a few weeks ago comes back with it ! 
    At least people like Maggie Moss, Ken McPeek, Darley Stables are being honest about this issue and want to keep their options open.

  • ThomasMc

    Tinky,  Your telling the same untruthes about lasix as you always have.

  • Big Red

    How can I also forget G. Motion, the T.Valor trainer who supports the use of lasix. Interesting to see how that plays out !

  • Convene

     The sad thing about it all is that now we’ve got into the gene pool things it may take generations to breed out again. A wise breeder (I don’t recall who now and he was referring to dogs, not horses – but it’s no less relevant) once wrote that whatever you put into the breed today, someday someone will hear its echo. Ergo, we need to be very careful about what we put in. Breeding for one thing (in this case speed etc.) too often adds something less desirable. I agree with no raceday meds. I just think we’re going to have a rocky road ahead until various things we didn’t want are slowly bred out. Ditching raceday drugs would be the foundation. I know it will be costly but it’s still best for the horses – and the sport – in the long run. And so no one accuses me of being anonymous, my name is Anne Mackintosh and I’ve been in and around this game for over half a century.

  • Stanley inman

    Steve,
    My apologies
    that line should have been deleted
    Editing on review is a killer with this software,
    The comment box is too small for lengthy responses,
    After my first footnote I just figured
    #uck it.

  • Rawhide

    Can Barry Irwin, The Jockey Club, Gretchen Jackson, etc., provide one shred of scientific research against the beneficial use of Salix in racehorses? No. They are playing politics and this is why they want the govt involved. The best veterinary research minds have studied and proven that Salix protects horses from eiph. Period. With that said then Salix is in the best interest of horse welfare. If the elite are so anti Salix why do they use it?

  • Michael Cusortelli

    I’d like to see this panel also tackle the issue of wagering security.
    To me, this is a more serious trust issue than drugs.

  • Tinky

    Really? And what “untruths” might those be?

  • SteveG

    No problem.  Unlike the controversy of raceday meds, it’s unanimous that disqus is about as nimble as a dirigible.

  • Equine Avenger

    I feel for you Cepatton28. I am on the same ship. The owners I seek MUST have the mentality OPPOSITE of “whatever it takes to win” attitude for myself to have any interest in training horses for them. The horse MUST come first, ALWAYS! I have zero use for GREED. Unfortunately, it isnt that easy finding those types.

  • Don Reed

    The analogy is flawed.  You can actually get a dirigible off the ground into flight, after a great deal of effort.

  • Barry Irwin

    Lasix works. That is NOT the issue. The issue is that if we have to drug 95 percent of horses that race, we don’t have a viable sport. No other major racing jurisdiction allows the use of Lasix. They have the same scientific evidence available to them, yet they choose in the name of fair competition and the welfare of the horses NOT to use it.

  • Barry Irwin

    I’ll take that bet

  • Hossracergp

    Sore horse….pain…..stress level goes up, so does blood pressure hence more bleeding.  We should just ignore it like the rest of the world. Gee….that’s an enlightened approach. If a tree falls in the forest and I crank my I pod up to high then I won’t hear it therefore it doesn’t make a sound. What a brilliant logical way of looking at the problem. If horses are only making 11 starts now, how many more do you think they will make when they have lung infections from bleeding? Or how many will have impaction colics from being drawn the night before? Are we less humane now in our treatment of racehorses than we were 50 years ago? 

  • Tinky

    The rest of the world, broadly speaking, manages their horses intelligently and humanely – especially in contrast to the way they are often managed in the U.S. They don’t need to use Lasix because they are smart enough to give their runners breaks (rather than racing them year-round), don’t rush the hell out of them as soon as the gates open, etc.

    If Lasix were banned here, perhaps horses would begin to be managed more carefully and yes, humanely.

  • Big Red

    I’m sure this is great news for the owners that put up 3x the actual cost of this horse to buy into something that has no chance of making any of that money back as a result of sheer stupidity. 

  • Rawhide

    Barry, if human athletes did not receive therapeutic medication then we wouldn’t have football, baseball, golf, etc., either.

    The racing jurisdictions overseas use all type of meds. But they don’t enjoy the same freedom to discuss it as we do. Example: Hong Kong. You heard trainer John Size say at the Medication Summit he relies on clenbuterol to help horses through daily training.

    We must protect the horse. Your vote to rally against Illegal Drugs is important. However, Salix is in the best interest of horse welfare.

  • Rawhide

    If everyone has access to Salix then the competitive landscape is fair. When someone beats your horse using an exotic chemical that isn’t testable or FDA approved that is unfair.

    If Salix works, as you say, and it is proven safe in its ability to protect eiph and therefore horse health what is the issue?

    Just because overseas racing jurisdictions don’t use Salix does that mean they are correct? Without Salix would you prefer your horses to be treated with unknown herbs and water drawn 36 hours per race? Which is more responsible and humane?

  • Stanley inman

    Barry,
    Why don’t you give your buddy Jules winnfield a call;
    (He needs to pop a cap in his ass.)

  • Hopefieldstables

    sore horse = non runner (well in my part of the world).  Bute withdrawal is 8 days (not that I would use an archaic medicine like bute anyway). Sounds like the ones who run the sore horse are ones doing the “ignoring”. Never “drawn” a horse in my life, never will, never needed to.

  • Hopefieldstables

    EIPH is not a primary disease. Treating a horse with lasix (for EIPH) is the essence of “ignoring”.

  • Barry Irwin

    Are we less humane now in our treatment of racehorses than we were 50 years ago?

    Of course. Where have you been hiding, under a rock?

  • Barry Irwin

    Your comments are fraught with faulty logic that I don’t have the energy to comment on them all. But since you raised the subject of athletics, vist the website of WADA (World Anti-Doping Association) and see where they classify clenbuterol and what they say about Lasix. Maybe you will add to your knowledge or come away with a different viewpoint.

  • Barry Irwin

    Your facts are incorrect and your assumption is faulty.

  • Rawhide

    Easy Barry on the condescension. The faulty logic is your own because you cannot substantiate your opinion with research. So you resort to Your lack of time and erudite put downs.. Talk with the top research scientists if you dare. But, please point out the faulty logic. We can discuss point by point. I’m willing to change. Are you?

    Barry, don’t race on Salix. Set the standard you believe in.

  • Hopefieldstables

    If lasix is so good for horses how come 12f is a marathon in the US but only middle distance in Europe.

  • wallyhorse

    Right Barry:

    Lasix does work for horses who need it, but the problem is too many horses are now using it whether they actually need it or not, which is why we need Lasix phased out (as I would do over five years starting with the highest level races and work downward from there).   The evidence of how much Lasix has changed the sport has come with all the heat-related cancellations we have had in recent years, and especially this summer already due to heat that never used to happen (before 2006, I remember only one such cancellation during Ak-Sar-Ben’s final season in 1995).  

    What Lasix also has done coupled with trainers who started with quarter horses is have the distances reduced.  That’s something I think would change drastically with Lasix taken out of the equation even if not immediately.

    This is where NYRA could help change things by taking advantage of their new funding by going to a three-tiered purse structure: cutting purses quite a bit for horses going short, not as much for horses going middle distances and severely increasing purses for races of at least 1 1/4 Miles on dirt and 1 1/2 Miles on turf.  For example, for the upcoming Saratoga meet I would have an N1x Allowance that is scheduled to be worth $82,000 going short cut to $70,000 going short, while cut from $87,000 to $80,000 going middle distances while in races of at least 10 furlongs on dirt and 12 furlongs on turf increased to $100,000, with an N2x perhaps worth $105,000 going 10f+ on dirt and 12f+ on turf, an N3x Allowance worth $115,000 at the longer distances and an N4x/N$Y allowance worth $125,000 at those distances.  That would get the attention of horsemen who would be encouraged to enter their horses going longer distances.

  • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

    With all due respect to U & your partners…why don’t U all go ahead & be like the REST of the racing jurisdictions on the planet & stop running your (& your partners) Horses on LASIX (L) or any other drugs (LA) the rest of the year???…ty…

  • Chip Wiley

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if, after Barry Irwin “testifies” before congress, that the senators all get up and walk out of the chamber stating that, “they are tired of being lied to by horse syndicators” ?

  • Tinky

    “If everyone has access to Salix then the competitive landscape is fair.”

    Ridiculous. Lasix is performance enhancing. That is an indisputable fact, and explains why trainers put EVERY horse on Lasix whether they bleed or not. If it were simply a matter of fairness, then we might as well also allow the use of clenbuterol, steroids, bute, etc.

    “If Salix works, as you say, and it is proven safe in its ability to protect eiph and therefore horse health what is the issue?”

    There are several issues: it is badly abused (i.e. used on horses all the time that have not bled); it is obviously NOT necessary given that two-thirds of the horses in the world race successfully without it, as did American horses for decades before its advent; there’s a perception problem; etc.

    “Which is more responsible and humane?” 

    NOT sticking a needle into horses on race days, and learning (or re-learning) how to manage bleeders without doing so is more responsible and humane.

    “We must protect the horse”

    By sticking a needle in their necks before every race and most breezes? By degrading the gene pool through welcoming bad bleeders whose symptoms have been masked? By encouraging trainers and vets to take medication shortcuts, rather than the more natural route of managing horses individually and carefully? Some protection that is…

  • Stanley inman

    Tinky,
    I love that
    “… Needle in the neck”
    It’s funny how they can do it
    but they hate talkin about it.

    Reminds me of that old show Mary hartman Mary Hartman
    Mary was having a conversation
    with her husband about masturbating.
    He said he could do it but couldn’t talk about it.
    Mary said, ” I can talk about it but I can’t do it”

  • Stanley inman

    It’s funny
    if you had witnessed over the past year the
    Devolution of the argument made by apologists for raceday meds you would have heard;

    Lasix works. ( we said that’s not the point)
    Next came the south African study (we said, why does s.Africa ban raceday meds)
    Next came all horses bleed ( we said, oh how does the rest of the world race)
    Next came why do you run on lasix ( we said it’s a performance enhancer)
    The latest- practice what you preach (switching subjects is their last hurrah favorite response when the cupboard is bare.
    Story’s over.

  • Ray A

    As along time fan of the sport I am amazed at some of the performances I have seen. Horses are apparently beaten and they re-brake and win, others run through their skin with awesome performances. These events are common occurrances for certain trainers. However, the drug problem is very widespread. There is so much purse money at stake these days that in order to compete you must get into the drug game. The same trainers have been getting away with murder for years with nothing being done about it. It has caused the others to find these drugs or get out of the business. Not much training these days. Its who has the best drugs and the knowledge of how to administer them for the maximum performance. These days its more a game of handicapping the trainers than the horses. It is way out of control.

  • Dc

    Ok Barry, you get by a few races without lasix, and what happens if and when one does bleed, is he/she done running, treatment for lung infection and rest? Then he/she bleeds again the cycle goes on, and then the horse says this is awful I am not going to run. Just what are you going to do when several of your high dollar horses become problems? 

  • Dc

    Seems the horses would be better served if you went as hard after the dangerous non therapeutic drugs and left lasix alone.

  • Rawhide

    The definition of performance enhancing is to enable a horse to perform beyond its God given talent. There are drugs that solicit this. However, Salix only enables the horse to process blood through its pulmonary system. According to Dr. Robinson (Summit Meeting) over 70% of horses bleed. Recurring events damage the lungs. They don’t repair all the way. A needle stick to help a horse from the suffocating effect of eiph is humane.

    Defining performance enhancing, drugs, and medication is important for this discussion. Otherwise you may next argue that oats are performance enhancing.

  • Tinky

    “Defining performance enhancing, drugs, and medication is important for this discussion.”

    Agreed. And for the umpteenth time, Lasix is DEFINED as being performance enhancing by every major sports oversight body in the world (e.g. MLB, NFL, NBA, the Olympics, etc.), as well as being defined as such by the Mayo Clinic, etc.

    Anyone who disputes that Lasix is performance enhancing is either ignorant of the facts, or dishonest. To which camp do you belong?

  • Rawhide

    Which camp do I belong to? The most important issue is the health and welfare of the horse. I trust and rely on the position taken by the American Assoc of Equine Practioners (AAEP). As the definitive equine medical experts they feel Salix use in in the best interest of the horse.

    Frankly, without it we are asking horses to perform beyond what nature intended. In this regard racing can be perceived a cruel. Help a horse with a safe and legal medication? Yes, I am for that.

  • Rawhide

    The rest of the world doesn’t race the way the US does. We are unique. The South African study is a double blind gold standard study that demonstrates Salix helps reduce eiph. You loosely use the word performance enhancer. Define that? Just get off the politicking and provide science to back up your claims. If you are successful maybe Barry will take you to the Golden Corral for the buffet.

  • Tinky

    “I trust and rely on the position taken by the American Assoc of Equine Practioners (AAEP)”

    Well, that explains quite a bit. 

    Presumably you also trust the AMA on the issue of pharmaceuticals, the Pentagon on how much money is required to “keep America safe”, and the politicians in power to tell you whether or not any innocent civilians were killed in the most recent drone strike.

  • Tinky

    As I’ve already pointed out the Lasix is, by definition, performance enhancing (see list above, and visit the Mayo clinic website). But as you still claim ignorance, I’ll spell it out for you.

    Rapid weight loss just prior to a race gives horses a distinct advantage. If you are still confused, feel free to consult anyone who has an understanding of high-school physics, or anyone who has ever had anything to do with auto racing.

  • Rawhide

    Yes it does explain a lot Tinky. The AAEP is not a govt group but an organization of educated, well intended, equine medical experts. When experts like Drs. Steve Reed, Scott Hay, Ed Robinson, etc., indicate that Salix use is in the best interest of horses, and back it up w research, that is the Gold standard.

    Those arguing against Salix are entitled to their opinion. But if my horse needs help I will call Steve Reed, DVM.

    Again, provide research to you anti Salix opinion. Decisions should be made on facts not the perceptions of a few wealthy horse owners. Heck, even the RCI has backed off the Salix issue!

  • Stanley inman

    Rawhide,
    This is so much fun I cant help my self.

    Your claim, “…we are unique”
    No points for you rawhide(keep dem doggies movin…)
    Intellectually lazy for not spelling out our uniqueness specific to racing elsewhere AND
    Why that uniqueness is relevant in this discussion.

    “…s.Africa study is the gold standard”
    No points, my friend we know lasix is a great drug. (stay on subject)
    the question is what are the costs of using lasix not the benefits.

    “…define performance enhancer”
    (No points)
    with that lame retort, my friend you are obviously running on empty.
    (send in the A team; the bench won’t due.)
    You have made it perfectly clear that your 15 minutes exercise is obviously

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.mason.58367 Dave Mason

    Rawhide, the AAEP has a vested interested, to its constituency, in its pro Lasik stance!
    I can assure you, as a former pharmaceutical salesman, that the packaging of off-patent therapeutic medications such as furosemide clearly outweighs the cost of manufacturing the drug itself! Think about it; if a vet can purchase a 120ml vial of furosemide for $40, which translates into 24 5cc shots at $30 a pop, he/she will realize a profit of $680. Good work if you can get it!

  • Stanley inman

    (Mea culpa, mea culpa for not deleting last sentence.)

  • oldbay

     Ever think the cancellations have to to with pressure from nonsensical bloggers who catch the ear of a news paper (ny times) or a Peta activist or someone in congress?  I would have to say the Ny times would have a lot more credit for the cancellations than lasix did.  Tracks can’t afford any more bad press so you cancel and have no risk.

  • Rawhide

    Hi Dave, at the Medication Summitt mtg an owner of a large South Florida practice said Salix revenues were less than 5% of their business but more than 5% of their time to administer. He suggested the State administer Salix. This was in response to management heckling that vets are selfish and only want to protect Salix for their own monetary benefit.

    The racetrack vets I know are good people. I still believe they want to “do no harm” and protect the horses, trainers, and owners they serve. Your comment about $ is interesting…what is managements real reason for wanting to k bosh Salix? It doesn’t seem to be to protect horse health…at least to me.

  • Dc

    How did you arrive at that average Tinky? You counting every horse that had 1 or 2 outs and they quit with them because they were slow? Or you just counting high dollar horses, and leaving Zenyatta out of the mix? And most of the high dollar horses are retired to the breeding shed while they are still capable of running and winning, mot because of lasix but because of the risk of injury could damage the future value.

  • Dc

    The Breeding!

  • Convene

     Silly me! I thought those were houses of ILL-repute!

  • maggi moss

    UNBELIEVABLE–    ANOTHER discussion about Lasix, and the US Government-   entrust the US government to fix all our problems,  but please remember, this would be the same US government that cares so much about “fixing racing”  that it is opening this country to reopen slaughter houses-       Not only will our horses be unmedicated,  which will make them ripe to slaughter-   but they get to be corraled into trailors on top of each other,  ravished,  and than get to have their throats slashed and sent to Europe for food  _   the same countries that race without lasix               how screwed up is this?

  • wallyhorse

    These cancellations were happening in 2006, two years before the Eight Belles breakdown (which of course was two years after Barbaro) brought PETA and the onslaught of bad press as we know it now into the picture.  Lasix to me has played a big part of these cancellations because of it being such a dehydrant.

  • wallyhorse

    Maggi:

    Short term, there may be some issues, but long term, I do think this sport would be better off if we phased out Lasix.  The rash of cancellations this summer because of the extreme heat wave the has gripped most of the country was something that would have been unthinkable in 1982 when I first started playing horses seriously (after first being taken to the track by my late father in the 1970s and being allowed to play races that aired on the old WOR-TV shows in New York) and Lasix, while being used in some states was NOT being used even close to the extent it is today.  Lasix to me has been a HUGE factor in the sharp rise of cancellations the past couple of years, and if more summers are going to be like this, it will continue to get worse given how much of a dehydrant Lasix really is.

    We seemed to have a much stronger breed without Lasix in the 1970s when I was growing up and even when I took up this sport far more seriously in the early ’80s.  That is why I would have a five-year phase out of Lasix that would start with the truly major stakes and work its way downwards until Lasix is completely banned from the sport.  While breeding and training methods also need to go back to the way they were 30+ years ago (breeding in particular could be helped by the Triple Crown track operators implementing eligibility rules for major stakes events being implemented in Harness Racing, mainly by New Meadowlands owner Jeff Gural that require top horses to race through at least age four as well as Breeders’ Cup, Ltd. having the guts to lengthen the BC Classic and BC Ladies Classic to 1 5/8 Miles), phasing out Lasix would go a long way to strengthening the breed back to the way it was in 1982 when I first started playing horses seriously.

  • oky
  • Tinky

    Packed into this hyperbolic screed is the newest, and perhaps most absurd defense ever of the over-medicated American Thoroughbred: If we ban race day medication, they’ll be “ripe to slaughter”!

    It would be hilarious if it weren’t so sad.

  • Meyer1127

    Simple fix to that.BAN BOTH and THE TRANSPORTATION OF THEM OUT OF THE COUNTRY FOR SLAUGHTER.

  • kyle

    It is also “performance enhancing” in an even more basic way. Horses that bleed worst benefit most. It’s a leveler in the most malevolent of ways. The idea that all it is doing is allowing a horse to perform to the best of its natural ability is specious. Is EIPH not natural? I ask this question yet again of the “1000 percenters”- they never provide an answer: Why is it permissable to negate the relative strength and integrity of a healthy, well-managed horse’s cardio-pulmonary system? How is that system unique? Why should the non and moderate exhibitor of EIPH have his natural superiority negated by lasix?

  • oky

    There is no govt involvement in baseball or the NFL.

  • oky

    Tracks dont cancel races because horses are on lasix Walty poo.

  • oky

    So you are looking for owners that are looking to lose?

  • Big Red

    Well put Ms. Moss.
    Obviously, some just don’t get the big picture.

  • wallyhorse

    In the days before Lasix became what it is today, tracks would have never thought of cancelling even when you had the kind of extreme heat Louisville had for most of two weeks.  Before 2006, the ONLY cancellation I know of for extreme heat was during the final season of Ak-Sar-Ben in 1995.  

    Lasix is known to cause dehydration that is widely considered the main reason horses need more time to recover from races than they used to.  Add 100-degree heat like much of the country has been experiencing in recent weeks, and it makes it far worse, as evidenced the weekend of June 30-July 2 at Churchill when with temps still around or over 100 at the start of those programs (even starting in the less intense sun of the early evening at 6:30 PM), many horses ran significant sub-par efforts that weekend.  That to me can be attributed to Lasix and is why I think we will see more cancellations in hot weather unless we phase out Lasix, which will to me help long-term make the breed stronger.

  • Rachel

    No…don’t ignore it, if they’re sore why are you running them? 

  • Susan

    Mr.Irwin,
    I wrote this comment in another discussion, perhaps you didn’t see it.If you care to comment, I am curious about a few things..If those two year olds that you have running Lasix-free, should happen to bleed, then what will you do with them? I would imagine you will give them a break and start them up again? And then, what if they show signs of bleeding again? Will you ask your trainers to use it therapeutically in training, to help them? or will you just dump them? I can understand that you would want to try racing your young horses without it, but what is going to happen when they need it? Because it will happen.
    Also, I really don’t understand why you would continue to use Lasix on your older runners? Horses are horses, no? I don’t understand your logic of continuing a Lasix regime if you are so against it’s use. I would think that you would either be for it, or against it, or is it just all about “the edge”? Or do you just want it both ways?
    I am an owner and a breeder and am against giving a young horse anything they don’t need. But with the rigors of training and racing, and my trainers have trained both on the farm ( hill work, interval training) and on track, giving horses plenty of miles and a more than adequate “bottom”, I have had horses that eventually need Lasix. I have also had
    horses that did not react well to Lasix.
    I sit on the side of doing what is best for the horse. Others, like you sir, say they want what’s best for the industry. If we do what’s best for the horse, and educate the public, it will take care of the industry and the public’s perception of it.

  • Samm

    uh… retire?  breed? are you kidding me?? We are overbreeding (why would you breed a bleeder in the first place if you can’t help them with medication)!!!  and the only thing standing between horses and slaughter is MEDICATION!  The standard of medication in horseracing is far more stringent then those of Olympic athletes!  Stop handing out trainers licenses like freaking candy!  A REAL horsemen knows his horses and what they need as individuals!  Owners come in and think they know more than their trainers.. then go get a license to train… guess who does the training??  the VET!!!  

  • samm

    oh.. and I do see the cheaters… some of whom are the mouth pieces for anti-medication!!!

  • Rachel

    People who take Lasix (high blood pressure) must be constantly monitored and tested for certain issues (No, i don’t know exactly, I just have family and friends who are always getting tested and monitored)

    There are side effects to all drugs, including lasix.
    There are contraindications to all drugs. Lasix shouldn’t be used with certain antibiotics & corticosteroids, fortunately with race horses you never have to worry about this problem…

    Symptoms of dehydration or electrolyte problems (eg, unusual thirst,  confusion, fast or irregular heartbeat, muscle cramps or weakness, drowsiness, sluggishness, unusual restlessness); Can uou say “Life At Ten?”

    Gastrointestinal
    Cardiovascular
    Muscle Spasms
    Liver Problems
    Intefere with response to anesthesia, etc used during surgeries
    Pregnancy (fetal foal abnormality)

  • May Flower

    Change must begin with protecting all horses against abuse and doping with 24/7 surveillance and tracking, tight security around barns, off-competition soundness monitoring, abuse prevention including with drugs, drug-free training and racing, etc.

  • May Flower

    Furosemide is also a doping agent because it can be used to lower overages of painkillers like bute and other drugs just before a race while higher levels help fool regulatory vets into passing lame horses during morning pre-race exams if performed. Such practice was clearly demonstrated by Scot Waterman, DVM during the last Equine Welfare and Safety Summit. Diuretics are also known to hide dope so they can be used directly and indirectly as doping agents.

  • May Flower

    FOLLOW THE MONEY.

    The AVMA and AAEP have sold their soul to the devil. Both are bought and paid for by Big Pharma and the AVMA by Factory Food Animal industries. Racing is similar the later. Selling “medications” and drugging race horses is a gold mine for AAEP frat boys as well a repairing the damage caused by the rampant abuse of drugs.

  • May Flower

    Drugs have never stopped our race horses from being sent to slaughter.

  • Rawhide

    I read the Salix label. Rachel has taken the label indication to an unrealistic extreme. In addition; Todd Pletcher’s off the cuff media comment that Life At Ten had an allergic reaction to Salix was never proven. He also had the distinction of running poorly with another well bet horse that BC day – Quality Road.

    If Salix is eliminated as a legal race day med let’s do it for the correct reasons. The health and welfare of the horse as substantiated with expert veterinary/scientific equine reseach. Currently this effort is nothing short of a witch hunt.

    As for Salix:

    I. Low Toxicity, High Efficacy-administration only by licensed Vet…(author heading)

    Caution: Federal law restricts this drug to use
    by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.

    DESCRIPTION

    Salix® (furosemide) is a
    chemically distinct diuretic and saluretic pharmacodynamically characterized by
    the following:

    1) A high degree of efficacy, low-inherent toxicity and a high
    therapeutic index.

    2) A rapid onset of action and of comparatively short
    duration.1,2

    II. If used in EXCESSIVE amounts….(author heading)
    CONTRAINDICATIONS – PRECAUTIONS

    Salix® is a highly effective
    diuretic-saluretic which if given in excessive amounts may result in dehydration…

    III. Sulfonomides (author heading)
    Human patients with known sulfonamide sensitivity may show
    allergic reactions to Salix®; however, these
    reactions have not been reported in animals.

    IV: Reproductive Studies; 10 to 25x dose abortions in rabbits only (author heading)

    Reproductive Studies:

    Reproductive studies were conducted in mice, rats and rabbits.
    Only in rabbits administered high doses (equivalent to 10 to 25 times the
    recommended average dose of 2 mg/kg for dogs, cats, horses, and cattle) of
    furosemide during the second trimester period did unexplained maternal deaths
    and abortions occur.

  • Ida Lee

    Thank you Ms. Moss for your comment. It really brings us back to the real issue which is the welfare of our horses and not who has the biggest “stones”.

  • Black Helen

     If they bleed, they should culled from the gene pool. It is a VERY, VERY low percentage of horses whom actually bleed. The over usage of Lasix by trainers on practically every horse, has LED the public to believe that it necessary.
    CLEAN RACING, NO DRUGS PERIOD
    We are destroying the breed, it is repulsive to me.
    BETTER TESTING
    SEVERE PUNISHMENT FOR CHEATERS

  • take that

    “The ancient wisdom of lawyers: When the facts are on your side, argue the facts. When the law is on your side, argue the law. When you have neither, bang the table”

    Maggi is furiously banging the table with this comment.

  • oky

    Lasix was not a factor in tracks decision to close. Not a single track exec in history has closed down because horses were given lasix wallyhorse. In fact the vast majority of the tracks that cancelled were tracks where racing is not the primary source of income.

  • Sampan

    About 1973-4 a lab in PA found a way to detect DMSO and shared the detection method with all other governing jurisdictions in North America. Numerous people were quickly caught and DMSO was detectable from then on.

  • stillriledup

    The US Senate should also make sure that since the Fix 6 scandal, the betting pools in America are secure as Ft Knox. We havent heard one peep about ‘pool security’ since the Drexel boys got done with the pick 6 about a decade ago. What has horse racing done to ensure the integrity of these pools? Have they invested money in ‘upgrading’ the tote systems? I havent heard a peep about tote security since the fix 6 scandal came and gone. Getting rid of Drugs in horse racing is important, but getting money skimmed off the top of some blind exotic pools in America is also just as important imo.

    The silence on this topic is deafening. “Pool skimmers’ are loving the increased scrutiny on drugs in the game, because now, everyone is focused on the drug cheats and nobody is paying attention to the betting pool cheats.

  • wallyhorse

    If Churchill didn’t have lights, they would have lost the entire final week of their season because of the heat (and if it had been like past years where they raced past July 4, they actually would have lost the final TWO weeks of their season because it was THAT bad in Louisville through this past Sunday), and as noted even with the lights, many horses ran sub-par efforts on the three nights they did run in large part because of Lasix.  If NYRA had been on their old schedule as opposed to starting Saratoga a week earlier the past two years as they now do, during what would have been the final week of the Belmont Spring week then we would have seen Belmont lose a total of FOUR programs to extreme heat (one in 2010 and THREE in 2011).  

    Before 2006, it would have been unthinkable for tracks to cancel because of extreme heat, mainly because horses racing without Lasix would not be anywhere near as badly dehydrated as they are running in extreme heat with Lasix.  We had one day in 1995 in New York where Belmont ran on a 104 degree day (where I actually felt they should have cancelled) as the horses were much more able to race without Lasix and not deal with dehydration anywhere near as bad (New York had not yet allowed Lasix to be used on race day as would happen with the start of the fall meet in ’95).

    Lasix to me has been a FAR bigger factor in the cancellations than you seem to realize.  Sure, having slots also is a factor, but I seriously doubt slots are an issue as tracks are still required to run a certain number of days each year (I believe with Parx for example it’s around 200 days a year).

  • James Staples

    the only thing that comes out of that mouth is BS…SSTFU…

  • samm

    not true…. a study was done… 55% of the horses bled during exertion… when exerting 3x 10% of those horse bled!!!  
    http://www.nytha.com/pdf/the_l

  • samm

    opps… typo… 100% not 10

  • samm

    so we revert to the old way of taking away feed and water 24-48 hours prior to racing… oh yeah… that worked… its more humane to administer lasix.. and then give the horse a jug of electrolytes after racing!!  unless you live it… you don’t have a clue!!!

  • samm

    we spend over 35 million dollars for testing right now… the world doping federation spends less than 2 million!!!  

  • samm

    There is a difference between therapeutic and abusive… and good horsemen know the difference… unfortunately they are the only ones that do… GET EDUCATED!!!

  • Thelibrarian

    They just keep talking & talking & talking. Who cares? Whatever rules they make are gonna get broken. Unless & until severe penalties are levied against violators NOTHING will change. 

  • Romans

    Indeed , there is a dangerous hyperbaric chamber at Fair Hill Training center, so I’m assuming he will choose to use that for the bleeding issue. What a shame …sheer torture for an hour coupled with tranquilizing and dehydration aftermath…not to mention the potential fatality of an innocent horse. Mr. Irwin has no problem administering hazardous  combustable oxygen under pressure. What a paradox of deceit!

  • Susie Byrd

    Everyone should read Maggi Moss’s editorial in the Thoroughbred Times.  One of the most knowledgeable and enlightening articles on the issues of horse racing and drugging I’ve ever read…..I would love to shake her hand.

  • samm

    The rest of the world does!!!  That is a fact!  They just use it differently… you should read this  
    http://www.nytha.com/pdf/the_l

  • samm

    and where were these senators when it came to horseslaughter?

  • samm

    please provide a link… 

Twitter