Florida: Race-Day Medication Limited To Lasix Starting July 1

by | 06.23.2015 | 1:10pm

Beginning July 1, the anti-bleeding medication furosemide – commonly known as Salix or Lasix – will be the only therapeutic agent that can be administered on race days at Florida Thoroughbred tracks, including Tampa Bay Downs.

The new restrictions are a result of legislation signed earlier this month by Florida Gov. Rick Scott requiring the state's Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering to adopt rules governing therapeutic medications and testing procedures for horse racing.

Scott's action, which followed unanimous passage of the reforms by the Florida House of Representatives and Senate, will bring the state's racing industry in line with National Uniform Medication Program guidelines, which are adhered to by a majority of Thoroughbred racing states.

The regulations go into effect on the second day of Tampa Bay Downs' third annual, two-day Summer Festival of Racing, which begins on June 30.

The track's Vice President-General Manager, Peter Berube, credited legislators and industry leaders for their efforts on behalf of the sport and its participants. Berube welcomes the opportunity for Tampa Bay Downs to take a leading role in Florida's strengthened emphasis on Thoroughbred welfare and safety.

A key element of the regulations mandates an increase in the maximum fine for a medication violation from $5,000 to $10,000. The new rules also adopt the Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule, which establishes testing thresholds for 26 commonly used drugs.

The legislation also requires a state-designated, equine drug-testing laboratory to participate in the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and Association of Racing Commissioners International quality-assurance programs, further promoting uniformity with other states.

The bill, which requires regulators to have conforming rules in place by the end of 2015, was endorsed by all segments of the state's racing industry, including Tampa Bay Downs; Gulfstream Park; the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association; the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association; the Florida Quarter Horse industry; and breeders, owners, trainers, jockeys and fans.

  • Racing Fan

    Florida. Last as always. That’s why I won’t ever wager a cent there. The inmates run the asylum there.

  • kmunster2015

    Maybe now some of the “super” trainers which are rampant at Gulfstream will slow down.Kirk Ziadie(50 percent), Marcial Navarro and peter Walder along with Michael Petro. Still need cameras at barn along with honest security guards not paid off to completely contro the chicanery. Take care Kevin

    • Jay Stone

      Sometimes in this game all u need is the right placement of horses and a willing owner to achieve a high winning percentage. It’s wrong to bundle a bunch of names with a dubious characterization.

      • Joan Drape

        But how often is that consistent? Sure, a trainer can have a nice string of horses, but year, after year, after year, the SAME people get the superior(fast) horses? And it is not a matter of how much money spent, as Sheik Mo can tell you.

      • Your point is sort of well taken, but get real Jay.

        That’s like when Mullins was winning everything in sight and he attributed it to spending a lot of time at the bar….I mean the barn.

        • AngelaFromAbilene

          Thanks, I needed that laugh today!

    • Naive.

  • Bobby Tsunami

    Is America that stupid?! Don’t answer that…but can someone please tell me how it’s ok for horse’s to have drugs and medications in their systems just as long as the shots and pastes were not ingested on RACE DAY! Two days before is OK?! Come on racing, we have to do better than this pathetic attempt to ‘clean-up’ horse racing! Are we really supposed to give Florida a standing ovation for this…get freeking real! #MountainOysters

    • In Hong Kong it is 10 days.

      • AngelaFromAbilene

        I like that. Do you *think* we’ll ever see 10 days out anywhere in the US?

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