For the first time in 2020, Saturday's Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series presented by Runhappy will be run free of race-day medications, heralding a new era in the sport of Thoroughbred racing in North America.
The medication-free policy is consistent with the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities (IFHA) standards. Two percent of the purses will go back to Thoroughbred aftercare.
Horsemen competing in both the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) and $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) weighed in on the change.
Richard Mandella, Hall of Fame trainer of Pegasus even-money program favorite Omaha Beach: “I don't have any concerns about that. We're all on the same playing field, that's the important thing. I don't see any problem going in and it's exciting to be part of it.
Bob Baffert, Hall of Fame trainer of Pegasus contender Mucho Gusto: “Lasix is probably more important in dirt racing because of the kickback. We have a lot of kickback. In turf racing, they don't need Lasix on turf because there's no kickback. It's going to be interesting. Everybody seems to be leaning that way. It never entered my thought about worrying about that part of it.”
Kiaran McLaughlin, trainer of Pegasus contender True Timber: “You have to compliment Gulfstream Park and The Stronach Group to take a step in that direction; it's probably overdue that we go with no Lasix and other medications. [True Timber] went to Dubai and ran without medication. He's an older horse. He should be fine. Like I said, we have to make some changes and they're making the change.”
Tom Albertrani, trainer of Pegasus Turf contender Sadler's Joy: “I don't have a problem with that. I start a lot of my horses without Lasix. It's something we really use as a preventative, it's something everyone uses. So, we just want to be on the same level playing field as everyone else, but I don't think it's an issue that we have to run on it.”
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