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Breeders' Cup 2017

Behind the Breeders' Cup Lasix Decision

Was it merely a change of heart that led the Breeders’ Cup board of directors to back away from their 2011 decision to ban race-day medication in all of its championship races beginning in 2013? 


Or could it have been the financial projections given to the board for this year’s event if some owners and trainers opted not to race their horses because they were unable to be treated with the anti-bleeding drug furosemide, better known as Lasix. Maybe it was the threat of a federal lawsuit by a leading owner, citing fiduciary responsibilities of non-profit organization board members under New York law, where the Breeders’ Cup is incorporated. Perhaps for some board members, the decision was made out of frustration, knowing that local horsemen’s organizations have the ultimate approval rights for simulcasting the Breeders’ Cup under the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978, and the event could have been held as a hostage over medication rules.

Most likely it was a combination of all of the above.

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Older Comments about Behind the Breeders' Cup Lasix Decision...

Bute is only a mild anesthetic: taking away inflammation, decreasing tissue bulk aids movement....Take Ibuprofen daily and have for years. Stopping it, woof, I can tell my age, but then these animals are babies. I have found human correlates to NSaid use: if you take 800 mg a day loading dose a few days before a surgical procedure or when you are helping someone MOVE, there is far less soreness post event. This latter function is what the young horses get from that class of med. Analgesics per se work in the central nervous system. I asked a terminal patient in hospice if the ad lib morphine helped: yes it does, the pain is still there, I just don't get worked up about it any longer...Two routes to fix the same problem but the CNS side effects of the direct analgesics have too many side effects.
TV, with bute I also worry about the drug masking pain. Pain can sometimes be a signal that something can be going wrong with the body. If pain meds are regularly used, it might hide growing, worsening, or new problems (as opposed to routine muscle soreness from exercise) and lead to real trouble.
The crazxy thing is that BUTE CAUSES BLEEDING!! the two are contraindicated!!!
Exactly Goblin. Where was the money in the beginning? Nowhere. Now you have money for research as part of a lawsuit, pardon me while I laugh.
Buckpasser, Yes, self-serving aspect aside, though, where was the research when it should have been done? This use of furosemide for EIPH should have been properly researched at least 20 years ago. A million dollars is a lot of money; I think it could/should have been offered by someone at the start of the Lasix era. There are vets and clinical pharmacology people at major schools of veterinary medicine who knew things were being done backward with this EIPH usage.
IMO the Wests and others who are trying to stop LASIx bans are on the wrong side of history. The changes will come. It will take longer given the various state boards and horse men's associations and other decision makers. But the ban on race day Meds will come, because there are many top players who realize that the success of the industry depends on it.
Being a lawyer and a cynic, I have always found these offers for research the accompany a law suit laughable because these offers are used to some how disguise the self-seeking aspect of the lawsuit. Similar to OJ's offer of a reward to find the real killers.
BH has a related article this A.M. that provides more detail on the Gary and Mary West lawsuit mentioned in the Paulick (above) article. http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/76815/owners-consider-suit-against-bc-on-salix
No one state or organization like the Breeders Cup or Graded Stakes Committee wants to be the first to completly ban Lasix. This is why it will not happen until there is a central governing body that controls all of racing. This is the only thing that will insure the survival of horse racing, one authority, like a Baseball commissioner, that sets the rules for all tracks. And I believe one of the first things they should do is ban race day medication. I have been a racing fan for a long time and it is hard not to notice the parallel between the universal use of Lasix and the decline of racing as a sport.
As I've said before, billionaires can exert a lot of influence when they choose. Considering this is a young man with mega bucks, and a love of racing, who invests more each year in dirt racing, which is what American racing is all about, he should be given consideration.
If the guy doesn't want to race, let him...
IMO this decision by the Breeders Cup has its origins in Repole's refusal to race his horses in the BC last year ostensibly because the BC was not moving to other tracks, but I would imagine it had as much to do with the LASIx ban on two yr olds and its possible extension to other races.
George Strawbridge who races the Augustine Stable has wanted a ban on LASIx and has stopped racing in the US and will only race his stable in Europe or other countries that ban race day medication. America has to change thie stance on LASIx etc. breeders like the Hancocks and others support getting rid of it and testified in front of Congress last year for federal legislation to ban race day Meds and end the Byzantine state regulations.
I agree 100% Ambitious. I myself do not like the use if Lasix.
He's been gone for a good week now
Regardless of anyone's stance on Lasix, I have gained a large amount of respect for Oliver Tait and his decision to do what he thinks is right for the sport. It is sad to lose an important figurehead in the Breeders' Cup board of directors, especially when they are so passionate about their values for thoroughbred racing.

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