In an interview with Karen M. Johnson for Thoroughbred Racing Commentary, seven-time Sovereign Award-winning trainer Mark Casse discussed his views on the controversial issue of Lasix. He is a proponent of the medication, stating that “running horses on Lasix and not letting them bleed keeps them from bleeding more.” He is open, however, to new suggestions for a replacement preventative if and when one becomes available.
Horses bleed, Casse believes, because of the way they run. It is a back-and-forth motion which compresses their body's organs and sends blood pressure from the back of the animal to the front and back again with every stride. His stable is diligent about checking for signs of bleeding, scoping horses after every workout over 1/2 mile and after every race. Lasix has been proven to help control bleeding in horses, so Casse believes in using it for that reason. Even if it is a performance enhancer, he reasons, every horse is allowed to use it so “everybody has an equal playing field.”
Casse cited a recent Daily Racing Form survey in which the majority of bettors revealed their lack of concern over the medication, saying “I read so much about how our bettors don't like Lasix, and that's all baloney.” He is also prepared to support a the Barr-Tonko bill's national drug regulation agency for horse racing, provided that those involved are “knowledgeable people that have actually trained horses.” It would be beneficial, Casse says, to have the same rules in every place, but he believes that “If they eliminate Lasix there will be more cheating going on by far” because “there will be people out there doing everything to stop horses from bleeding.”
Read the full interview at Thoroughbred Racing Commentary.
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