A total of 211 American Graded Stakes races were run in the first six months of 2019, and just one horse, Fancy Dress Party in the G3 Beaumont Stakes at Keeneland, has won one of those events without the use of race-day Lasix, a diuretic that helps prevent or reduce exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage, or internal bleeding.
Lasix is permitted on race day in the United States and Canada but is prohibited on race day in European, Asian, Australian and a growing number of South American racing countries.
In his InsideRacingRegs blog, former horse racing regulator Joe Gorajec talked to the filly's trainer, Ben Colebrook, who indicated the 3-year-old daughter of Munnings may get Lasix for the first time in her next start, which is likely to come in the G2 Prioress at Saratoga Aug. 31. Fancy Dress Party finished ninth and last in the G1 Acorn after winning the Beaumont.
“I feel like I might be at a disadvantage without it (Lasix),” said Colebrook, who races the majority of his 2-year-old without the medication.
Colebrook added: “It depends on the horse. It also depends on the owner. Some have a strong feeling on both sides of the issue. It's a very divisive issue.”
Gorajec, a consultant whose blog appears on the HorseRacingReform.org website created by The Jockey Club and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, compiled Lasix statistics for the first six months of 2019 as he did for the entire 2018 racing season.
So far this year, Larry Rivelli, perennially the leading trainer at Arlington Park in Illinois, has the most non-Lasix winners overall, with seven victories from 21 starts. Oregon-based trainer Bill D. Hof has the most non-Lasix starters, 33, with five winners.
He also compared non-Lasix use in Saratoga and Del Mar, the two popular summer meets. In 2018, there were 152 starts at Saratoga without Lasix, with 11 wins coming from those starts. Del Mar had just one non-Lasix winner from 30 starts with the medication.
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