Are California Horsemen Obsessed With Lasix?

by | 05.23.2013 | 12:23pm
Lasix (Furosemide, Salix)

How important is Lasix to Thoroughbred owners and trainers in California?

Important enough for the board of directors of the Thoroughbred Owners of California to say “no thanks” to a 2014 Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita Park unless the drug (also known as Salix or by its generic name furosemide) given to horses on race-day is allowed for all Breeders' Cup races.

At the 2012 Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita, five 2-year-old races were run without Lasix. In 2013, the Breeders' Cup was to extend the Lasix ban to all of its championship races, but the Breeders' Cup board opted to continue the 2-year-old ban for another year and permit the administration of the drug for all other races. This year's event will be held at Santa Anita Park, on Nov. 1-2. The TOC previously approved a simulcast agreement for 2013 under the no Lasix rules.

At the March meeting of the Thoroughbred Owners of California board of directors, chairman Mike Pegram said he received a call from a Breeders' Cup official asking TOC to take a vote on whether or not to support a 2014 Breeders' Cup in California. A motion was made to inform the Breeders' Cup that “California is not interested in hosting the 2014 Breeders' Cup if Lasix is not allowed for all races.” The motion passed unanimously.

In holding a hard line on Lasix and saying “no” to the Breeders' Cup for 2014 – even if it's the continuation of a race-day ban for 2-year-olds – the TOC is effectively saying no to local businesses who benefit from the $60 million or more in economic activity to the Southern California region. That's how important Lasix is to them.

If the Breeders' Cup maintains its current medication policy, the TOC board vote means Thoroughbred owners and trainers will have to ship east to compete rather than lead their horses out of their home barns and onto the track at Santa Anita Park or Del Mar, which is joining Santa Anita in making a bid to host a Breeders' Cup.

That is cutting off their nose to spite their face.

There seems to be almost an obsession by the TOC on the issue of Lasix, a drug that a new study suggests enhances performance unrelated to the incidence of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage in horses.

In January, former TOC executive director Louis Raffetto asked the board to renew its annual $24,000 in funding to the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium. Raffetto said pro-Lasix veterinarian Don Shields, who represents TOC at RMTC meetings, said it was important for the owners' group to stay involved with the RMTC.

Instead of renewing the commitment, a motion was made for TOC to discontinue financial support of RMTC. The motion was approved unanimously. Apparently, the sentiment of the TOC board was that RMTC was pushing for the elimination of Lasix.

Here is the RMTC's mission: “Striving to develop and promote uniform rules, policies and testing standards at the national level; coordinate research and educational programs that seek to ensure the integrity of racing and the health and welfare of racehorses and participants; and protect the interests of the racing public.”

RMTC has not taken a position to eliminate Lasix and in fact supports a policy of third-party administration of the drug. So the TOC's vote seemed to suggest it did not want to support an organization whose goal was to ensure the integrity of racing.

One month later, the TOC said “never mind.”

The almost comical minutes of the February board meeting state: “Mr. Pegram explained that, although the board voted at its last meeting not to fund the RMTC, since that time information has come to light regarding the fact that RMTC is pro-Lasix. Based on the fact that board members have come to him saying they did not realize RMTC is pro-Lasix, a re-vote is be (sic) called for.” The January vote was a case of “shoot first, ask questions later.” The new motion to reestablish funding was made, and the vote carried with trainers John Sadler and Mike Harrington the only two no votes.

Sadly, there is more.

Legislation that could come up for a vote this week in the California Assembly's appropriations committee would put a four-year limit on any individual serving as Equine Medical Director for the California Horse Racing Board.

Let's call it the Get Rid of Rick Arthur bill.

The current TOC leadership does not like the CHRB's Equine Medical Director Arthur for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is his belief that racing would be better off without race-day administration of Lasix. The Get Rid of Rick Arthur bill is sponsored by freshman Assemblyman Adam Gray, who previously worked as an aide to former U.S. Rep. Dennis Cardoza, when Cardoza was a member of the California Assembly.

Cardoza is a member of the TOC board and head of the TOC's legislative committee. It's not too difficult to connect the dots.

With as much as there is going wrong in California racing, doesn't the TOC have more important things to worry about?

  • realist

    Question: Would any other state host a Lasix-free BC? California is under the microscope, but what about KY and NY (the other most likely locations?) Would they have Salix-free Breeders’ Cups? Would anyone run anyway? Why is this a California only issue? Legitimate question because I don’t know the answer.

  • Ben van den Brink

    For as long as owner and trainer group,s continue the legal use of race enhacers, racing will decline in the US.

    Outside the US, most racing nations have banned race enhacers since a long time. By using them the risk of breakdowns and or injuries is much greater than without the stuff.

    • mike g rutherford

      Dear sir, with all due respect Lasix is not an enhancer but a diauretic that protects our horses. I too am against drugs that mask pain & are enhancers. Setting on the Texas Racing Commission for 7 years I had access to Texas A & M’s testing lab & todays technology can tell if Lasix is covering up any drugs. Lets use modern techno;igy to protect our magnificent animals. Its amazing what todays computers & DNA can do. Mike G Rutherford

      • Maureen Tierney

        You are incorrect. Studies have proven that Lasix reduces the cost of exertion. That it buffers lactic acid. Lasix is already banned in humans sports because it is known to be a performance enhancer. If it was merely a diuretic, why would humans take it? The do not suffer from EIPH. And it explains what trainers have always known, horses run better on Lasix. Most especially it is always noted when a horse is first time Lasix,meaning likely to improve. I suggest you let go of the part line and embrace some science.

        • nu-fan

          Maureen: You are correct. Some will say that if a person isn’t in the horseracing industry, the knowledge of Lasix is negligible. However, can someone explain to me why those “expert handicappers” go out of their way to mention why a horse is a first-time Lasix? Why would the published programs list whether a horse (and more than 95% seem to be running on Lasix) is on Lasix? That information seems rather clear: To let the betting public know how a horse may perform that day. Doesn’t that spell “performance enhancer”? And, the 95% running on Lasix? Are they all bleeders? Am I the only one getting tired of hearing the same [edited] arguments for Lasix? And, that is all they are.

  • Lizz

    This is exactly why we need a central governing organization for racing. Compare Cali to Dubai….

    • LongTimeEconomist

      You are delusional if you think there will ever be a central governing organization in America. There is no way that the individual states are ever going to hand their own local fiefs and rules to a nationwide authority.

      • Lizz

        While it may never happen, I believe if US racing ever wants to progress or have some form of structure there needs to be some sort of move in the direction of a governing body i.e. the BHA. Our stand with race-day meds right now is a joke, not unified and with little to no consequences for violation.

        • Ann Maree

          The way to achieve cooperation from the states is federalize the issue. It is very naive for anyone to think that this won’t happen. There is too much of people being fed up with the patchwork drug rules that has resulted from each state determined to protect its fiefdom. Actually, legislation is in committee in the House and Senate as we speak. Very promising that some kind of oversight body will be established to deal with the volatile drug issue in the U.S. In the past, the feds have used the interstate commerce clause to pierce the sovereignty clause of the Constitution. That may be an option, as well as the proposed amendment of the interstate horseracing act. Just some options to think about.

          • Barney Door


            niave to think that it will happen. it is even more niave to think the feds will do a better job.

  • Al

    The ship is sailing on racing in California. Hollywood Park is biting the dust this fall and the horsemen are acting like this is basically nothing. Unless something is done soon, more tracks in the state will be closing.

  • Tonto

    The vets ‘push’ Lasix as a cure all. How does dehydrating a horse help him??? As I trainer- if I try to run a horse not using Lasix- I get a hard time from the test barn, track vet and others. If I have to use it I give the horse water and electrolytes after they leave. Some horses are made ill by that stuff..

    • Barney Door

      Vets as Pushers? Interesting view point. Maybe the fact that track vets make the big bucks administering drugs versus treating and diagnosing is a factor in the pushing. You may be onto something. You think? Hard to believe that I thought track vets placed the welfare of the horses above their financial gain. Damn.

    • William Koester

      Sure you the vets are not happy, you are taking away their kid’s college money.

  • Richard C

    It may not be a stretch to term it a “gateway drug” — since so many nationally who should know better just can’t close the medicine chest.

  • Ray will delete this

    Is ray paulick obsessed with Lasix? So obsessed that he can’t understand the therapeutic advantages it has on protecting the horses and the money invested… His views sit with the same people who want Lasix out of the biz but continue to administer it every race! You can’t tell me you are getting tired losing the battle!

    • RayPaulick

      The proponents of a race-day medication ban have explained why they continue to have Lasix administered to their horses: Because it is a performance enhancing drug.

      As they long as that is legal, they are foolish not to use it as their horses are at a disadvantage without it.

      That does not mean they are wrong or hypocritical in wanting American racing to phase out race-day medication.

      • Milezinni

        Sorry meant this as a reply………
        I’ve been keeping a spreadsheet of Owners racing their horses w/o Furosemide for about two months now. I don’t dive too deep into the minor leagues, and I don’t list any claiming races.

        As of today, I have 434 names on that list. 434 Owners racing their horses without Furosemide even though most ,if not all, of the other horses in the race are running with Furosemide.

        Granted most of it is MSW, and [s]MSW but there are quite a few in Stakes and even more in n1x, n2x etc.

        My conclusion is that this seems to be a growing movement and that obviously these 434 owners care more about the health and safety of their horses than they do winning a purse.

        So, sorry Ray, I have to agree, that it is entirely hypocritical of “certain owners” to want the American taxpayers to clean up their sport , meanwhile, they are running their horses on Salix……

        I have even seen more than a few races where “certain owners” (pledge/petition) are racing horses ON furosemide against horses in the same race running without….if that’s not hypocrisy, what is?

        • Barney Door

          currently have four racing/trainng. one 4yo on lasix. 3 yos, not. will still use if indicated. non-lasix horses generally go off at long odds regardless of pps. betting a good allowance or better runner not on lasix usually provides odds out of line with pp.

      • betterthannothing

        Diuretics are doping agents. That you have to explain the above again and again is as disturbing as drugs being administered weeks, days and hours before each race to mask diseases, injuries and enhance performance; the moral bankruptcy and greed of those who order, buy, sell and administer performance enhancing drugs –from powerful painkillers to dope– in the dark, with complete disregard for the welfare and safety of horses and riders who have the right but fail miserably to force life-saving reforms.

      • Ray will delete this

        Really Ray? of course theres No such thing as leading by example or being an ambassador for the “movement”

  • thevoiceoftruth69

    If John Sadler could give 40cc of Lasix he probably would.

    • Barney Door

      Why not? Its SoCal, baby, where we dex em, vents em, shakes em, and breaks em!!!

  • Milezinni

    I’ve been keeping a spreadsheet of Owners racing their horses w/o Furosemide for about two months now. I don’t dive too deep into the minor leagues, and I don’t list any claiming races.

    As of today, I have 434 names on that list. 434 Owners racing their horses without Furosemide even though most ,if not all, of the other horses in the race are running with Furosemide.

    Granted most of it is MSW, and [s]MSW but there are quite a few in Stakes and even more in n1x, n2x etc.

    My conclusion is that this seems to be a growing movement and that obviously these 434 owners care more about the health and safety of their horses than they do winning a purse.

    So, sorry Ray, I have to agree, that it is entirely hypocritical of “certain owners” to want the American taxpayers to clean up their sport , meanwhile, they are running their horses on Salix……

    I have even seen more than a few races where “certain owners” (pledge/petition) are racing horses ON furosemide against horses in the same race running without….if that’s not hypocrisy, what is?

    • Barney Door

      More like common sense. Owners who oppose lasix use should not be expected to do a Don Quixote or wear the cloak of martyrdom in every situation. Pioneers who are impractical and imprudent in the blazing of new trails end up with their pants on fire or arrows in their back. Many of the arrows originally resided in the quivers of the Fairweather Souix. The last thing any pioneer wants is to be “Souixed”. Better to pick one’s battles than to have every fight become a last stand.

  • To the TOC:

    We support your position on the use of furosemide but only on this simple condition: that you be willing to make all medication and medical procedure records publicly available. Otherwise your hard line could be interpreted as disingenuous. Further to that will you provide, by an independent veterinarian, digitally photographed scopes after all breezes – breezes where (if any) horses didn’t use Lasix to train – to verify your premise that horses need the drug to the extent of your reasoning? Would you require that horses seeking to be added to the Lasix list actually be required to provide irrefutable physical proof by way of digital photo scopes – i.e., other than just the word of a veterinarian – that the horse should be qualified? Would you submit to a study of EIPH populated by a veterinary monitored test crop of horses – from the time of foaling to training to first race – horses that have never received steroids etc., nor most any other medications to get a clean read on the claims that we need Lasix? Unless you are open to adhering to the conditions described above I suggest that your credibility is on the line here.

    Thank you,

    Sean Kerr

    Interim Executive Director
    Bladerunners: National Horse Racing Commission Movement
    1271 Avenue of the Americas
    Suite 4300
    New York, NY 10020

    email [email protected]

    • Barney Door

      Good concept, except track vets and their records are part of the problem, not solution. Drugs and lasix make the money; not therapy and diagnostics. Track vets are a major source of the problem and get little attention and are rarely cited. No such thing as independent track vet unless they are deceased. $30 per for lasix. Multiply by number of horses racing, plus some trainers use for training and workouts. Wall blocking transparency is built with stacks of $100 bills.

  • zchairman

    Ray, everyone on earth knows of your dogmatic opinions on Lasix which you should not have as an objective journalist but you are certainly entitled to. But, just for a moment please try to be honest and objective. As a journalist, no matter what your bias, you know there are two sides to every story, but to date you have been woefully negligent in articulating them with respect to Lasix.

    Just for kicks, lets go through a ‘real life’ analogy about bleeding and (using or not using) a medication that stops or minimizes bleeding. Just pretend your own family were horses. And let’s assume that someone said they were going to repeatedly make your wife, son or daughter, mother or father go out and run a mile (and they had no choice). And, they were going to bleed from their lungs, and every time they bled they were much more likely to bleed again, get infections in their lungs and the bleeding would get progressively worse—like it or not, those are the true facts about bleeding (EIPH). And, you (Ray Paulick) had two choices to make on behalf of your ‘horsey family’: Let them bleed and bleed and bleed, until they could no longer run and then you would do something with them and pray they did not end up at the ‘killers’. Or, you could give them a medication which would stop or minimize the bleeding. Are you honestly going to tell your readers you would opt NOT TO provide a therapeutic medication to your family to “STOP THE BLEEDING”?

    And, you should be embarrassed to tears over even mentioning the silly study that was done on the performance enhancing properties of Lasix which was done on a treadmill with 6 horses. I am not even debating whether or not Lasix is performance enhancing, I am simply saying that no credible scientist or researcher could or would possibly draw that conclusion from this totally unscientific study. To be statistically valid, there would have to be over 1000 horses in the study, and to be valid the study would have to be conducted under real racing conditions and most researchers would say far more.That study will never in a million years be published in an credible scientific journal and it will be given no credibility in the equine veterinary, research or scientific community.

    • G. Rarick

      OK, zchairman, I’ll play. Let’s imagine that YOUR family were horses and that you had two choices: Choice 1: Do what you are told and force them to run that mile and bleed because they hadn’t been properly trained and given enough time to prepare, and that the surface on which they would run on would be hard and fast, to encourage maximal injury. You will be allowed to inject them with a dehydrating drug that MAY help limit the bleeding. Or may not. Choice 2: Decide to change the system so that only the members of your family who were capable of running a mile, if properly conditioned, and would run over a surface that was kinder to their joints and muscles. No drugs allowed. Which would you choose for your family? Accept the status quo and do what you’re told, or fight to change the system to put your family first?

      • Barney Door

        Excellent! HOWEVER, I would have tried to talk zchairman into a vasectomy before he had a family. I am not convinced that he would make the choice that you envision. If he thought that there was a chance that a family member might produce some financial gain then he might consider any circumstance to be worth the risk (for the family member). Who truly knows what a mentally exercised mind might produce or conclude?

    • RayPaulick

      Of course it’s a “silly study.” You don’t agree with its findings. And as for your mental exercise, if someone close to me kept bleeding internally every time they ran, I would teach them to play something like croquet so they could have a second career.

      • rachel

        Yay! Exactly right! Thank you Ray!

      • Barney Door

        I took up golf for a similar reason. Good response Ray. Should someone inform the chairman of a form of journalism known as editorial opinion? I don’t feel qualified or strong enough to penetrate the barrier that mental exercise has apparently created.

        • Barney Door

          New meaning for “muscle bound”?

    • betterthannothing

      “…they were going to bleed from their lungs, and every time they bled
      they were much more likely to bleed again, get infections in their lungs
      and the bleeding would get progressively worse-”

      Then your greedy, torturing a$$ would be thrown in jail for forcing invalids to run.

      • Barney Door

        A little over the top BTN. Lasix has a variety of potentially deleterious effects; actually preventing or reducing bleeding and related complications in racehorses, however, is not among them. “Invalids” would be the level 3+ bleeders who cannot successfully compete with or without lasix. Lasix enhances performance for good horses, but it does not permit invalids to run, especially run and win. Other more serious drugs are needed for that.

      • Maureen Tierney

        Good answer!!!!

    • Maureen Tierney

      The fact is that though Lasix does help bleeding no one has proven why. Find the real reason horses bleed – not the one accepted by the everyone at the moment, but the REAL reason. No one wants horses to bleed, but it’s a very convenient excuse to use a performance enhancing drug.

      • Red Rider

        Incorrect. The mechanisms are well documented.

  • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

    This study mentioned is very interesting to me as the author seems to state there is no argument that Lasix will help EIPH. What is also interesting is the findings in regard to lactate levels (something everyone seemed to state was happening but never had the science to prove it). The findings now raise another dilema. If people truly want the sport to be performance enhancer free, then lasix looks like it has to go. if they want to include lasix, they may need to now revise their TCO2 levels they look for in testing, since you cannot look solely at milkshaking as a cause anymore based on the science provided. The author makes a very good set of summary statements about the validity of various scientific studies and how people can cherry pick the studies they want to prove their point. From this study, it would appear that Lasix both helps the welfare of a horse and can be seen to help its performance by reducing or delaying the fatigue aspect of racing. Dilema indeed….
    As far as the TOC and their stances on things, they appear to me to be very much like a kid who will never play nice with others unless they get to play by their rules. Not going to play by my rules?? Then you can’t have my toys or play in my yard. Will the Breeders Cup bend to their demands? I sure hope not as I am sure there are many other sites who will gladly take the cup. I could see NYRA trying to step up for it under Cuomo, and most would welcome the change short of Repole whining his usual complaints. Perhaps the Breeders Cup will also take a hard look at returning at least the locations to what they used to be, a chance for all aspects of the racing world to enjoy the spectacle and great racing that is the Breeders Cup Races. Heck…if it had to be on a synthetic track one out of every 5 years or so…I would be fine with that.

    • Performance Genetics

      Bryan, if a scientist was able to create a peptide or the like that alleviated EIPH but didn’t enhance performance via lactate buffering, delayed onset of oxygen debt and weight loss, that would go a long way to satisfying all parties involved in this.

      • Hopefieldstables

        Of course you are assuming there that all EIPH is pathology.

        Most of the world adheres to the principle that racing should be free of the influence of exogenous drugs, irrespective of the effect (good or bad).

        if all horses are exhibiting pathology by mere competition (or training) it is time to change the sport, no wonder drug can make the sport ethical.

        Thus, strictly speaking, “many parties” would still have an issue.

        Nevertheless, you have certainly identified most US trainers delusion about lasix. To them, it is the very wonder drug you describe.

        • Red Rider

          Every warm-bloodled animal is subject to EIPH when engaged in sufficiently stressful exertion.

          • Hopefieldstables

            And thus is it physiology or pathology ? when does the line cross?

          • Red Rider

            Normal, healthy, properly conditioned, animals can experience EIPH under high levels of exertion. Conditioning is a major factor. However, some horses with a inherent pathological weakness do bleed more. There is little or no evidence to indicate that these weaknesses have a significant genetic connection. If by pathological you are also asking if an underlying defect or disease must be present, the answer would be “no”. A sick or compromised animal by definition would be in no condition to perform, and the probability of EIPH or other complication from racing would be increased.

          • Hopefieldstables

            “Normal, healthy………can experience EIPH” …….thus, is this physiology or pathology ?

            Perhaps you unwittingly answered my question.

          • Red Rider

            Your question in nonsense. EIPH is a pathology, but does not have to be caused by one. You obviously consider yourself a very clever broken record.

  • Big Red

    Lets stop the biased nonsense on this subject.
    The TOC is not alone on this. The vast majority of owners and trainers across the country support the use of Lasix. It’s not going away.
    What’s most interesting is that it appears that most anti-lasix supporters either have more money than brains or don’t even own a horse and have “no skin” in the game so therefore they should keep quiet or find another soap box to stand on.

    • salthebarber

      Big Red, you have totally ignored the bettors/players on this one as most trainers and owners have done. If this continues the owners/trainers will end up all alone in this game. Although, in my old industry I heard soemone once say this would be a lot more fun without the customers. :)

    • Barney Door

      The only person who has skin in the game and believes that not being an owner diminishes opposing views lives in a great house in ky. Also, considers horses a disposable pleasure. If you don’t own a big mouth, you have no right to speak? Works for me.

  • jttf

    why should we listen to mike pegram or gary west ? these guys were going to sue the breeders cup for not allowing lasix. then these guys run their horses without lasix in the breeders cups or dubai world cup events. these two guys have bob baffert as their trainer. baffert is on a record pace for horses having heart attacks. do these guys really care about their horses’ health ? sounds to me like baffert needs lasix for his horses to perform better. dont you find it suspicious that they are trying to get rid of rick arthur. isnt he the vet in charge of the investigation into why baffert’s horses are dieing ? that sure would be an ideal situation for baffert. did baffert or sadler ever try to raise any of their horses without lasix ? how can they know what the difference is ? after hearing this, the southern california government needs to spend some money on education.

    • betterthannothing

      They don’t need education they need eradication.

  • Ann Maree

    The fox seems to be in charge of the hen house! There should be independent third-party oversight for determining the issue of raceday meds and all other medications, legal and illegal, for the same reason you have citizen oversight of the military in the U.S. The CA horsemen are self-dealing and have no ability to see the big picture of what is destroying the sport. They have turned the issue into a “turf war”. They seem bent on “killing the goose” and to cut off their noses to spite their face!

    • Barney Door

      Okay. I volunteer as independent third party. Got to go. Waiting for phone to ring demanding my services and offering cooperation..

    • Flintstone

      Just say “no“ to metaphors.

    • Red Rider

      In order to keep the foxes from killing the geese we should cut off their noses. Thank goodness that the military in the U.S. is not comprised of citizens, otherwise the hens would be guarding the hen house.

  • Hossracergp

    Six geldings on a treadmill is a valid study? Now that’s funny.

    • Performance Genetics

      While the number was small, the design (Latin Square) makes it a valid scientific study. You also fail to mention that there are three other studies besides this latest one that were cited in the article with similar findings.

  • mike g rutherford

    Did you see the hugh crowds at the Derby in the rain & the record crowd at the Preakness? You want to tell me racing is declining? NO racing is not on the decline When the super bowl started they had to give away tickets & in the 60′ & 70’s the only place too gamble was Vegas & the race tracks. We now have Competition for the entertainment dollar. My town, Houston, has new fancy football, baseball, basketball & soccer stadiums that we have to compete against. They are state of the art built in the last few years. WE also have to much racing, for example The Triple crown, Saratoga, Del Mar & Keeneland are events & they are highly successful. If the Dallas cowboys played 80 home game they would average 3,000 people per game not 90,000. Racing needs to be an event. No the hugh crowd, at the Derby & in the rain(151,000 people) were not worried about Orb running on Lasix, even after the Phipps family had pledged to not race on Lasix. NO racing is not declining we just need to make racing an event and realize we now have lots of competition for the entertainment dollar. We are shooting our self in the foot when we are so negative. I am for a strong & uniform medication policy but until we find something better than Lasix to PROTECT ours horses lets quit running down our great SPORT. Mike G Rutherford

    • Maureen Tierney

      Go to Churchill when there is not a Derby or Breeders Cup. The Derby is an EVENT and people want to go. Day to day the story i quite different.

    • nu-fan

      Ever notice how the TV cameras rarely show the grandstands during most races? That’s because there aren’t very many in the stands. The Triple Crown races are special events. People who never go to a race may go to these races but that’s about it.

  • delmarla

    No wonder California Racing is declining so rapidly….and now they turn their noses up at hosting the Breeders Cup? How dumb is that! I remember when Lasix was first used they actually scoped horses first to see if they bled. Now the entire field runs on the medication whether they need it or not.

  • s/s

    Lasix is a therapeutic drug to treat human Congestive Heart Failure. Trainers and Vets got the idea to use it to hide banned drugs. Please do some research on the drug Lasix and its’ contraindications prior to commenting.
    The weakening of the species due to drugs has driven European and Far East investors away from our sport. Trainers and Vets running the rule book has been the norm and racing is on a decline as a result.
    Horse racing tests for but a fraction of illicit drugs out there. The IOC tests for 10 times the drugs horse racing does. The drugs are out there and when money and gambling are involved, PED’s will be used.
    As an owner and a breeder I no longer run in California. Many more owners and breeders are doing the same.
    Go to Santa Anita or Hollywood Park any day of the week and you can count the folks in the stands. The horses on one hand.
    As long as a small group of trainers and their vets run racing in this state the decline will continue.

  • Hoops and Horses

    If it were up to me, Lasix would be phased out of the sport over a five-year period and the California horse-people would have no choice but to go along. As originally written in 2011:

  • Gina Powell

    I have always alleged that race fixing is accomplished through the Lasix needle.

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