“I think a lot of us use Lasix as a crutch.”
Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey spoke with Karen Johnson of Thoroughbred Racing Commentary in a wide-ranging interview. McGaughey said he is more than ready to move away from using Lasix, having already done so with 2-year-olds in his barn owned by the Phipps Stable and Stuart Janney, though not until all the other trainers stop using it in their horses.
Is this because he believes Lasix is a performance enhancer? McGaughey says he isn't sure, but “if it helps another horse breathe better, then I'm at a bit of a disadvantage if I'm not using it.” For horses in his care that are known “bleeders,” he lists a hyperbaric chamber and more turnout time in the fresh air as alternatives to utilizing the drug.
McGaughey is also in favor of federal legislation that would be the United States Anti-Doping Agency in charge of medication regulations. He points out that issues with withdrawal times, such as the recent Graham Motion methocarbamol case, could be easily avoided with a centralized authority that would provide clarity. He believes that the USADA would “take a little bit of speculation out of the equation.”
Also in the interview are McGaughey's thoughts on his Breeders' Cup Classic pre-entrant Honor Code's preparations.
Read more at Thoroughbred Racing Commentary
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