KY Horse Racing Commission Sets Date To Take Up Lasix Debate

May 23, 2012

FRANKFORT, Ky. - The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has set a town hall meeting to discuss a proposal that would phase out the use of an anti-bleeding drug on race days.

The drug, furosemide, also known as Lasix, is given to horses to prevent bleeding in the lungs caused by the stress of racing. Eric Mitchell, editor-in-chief for Bloodhorse magazine, says Kentucky is among the first states to be debating a limited ban on the practice.

"There's one side that says we know enough, we've looked at the drug, we know what it's impacts are. There isn't any reason that North America should be suing this race day medication when the rest of world isn't... The other camp will say bleeding is an important health issue, this is a medication that we've used for a long time, it's proven safe, it's legal..." he says. 

The ban would initially apply to 2-year-olds, starting next January, and then to 2- and 3-year olds starting the following year. By 2015, the ban would be in effect for all horses entered to race in graded or listed stakes races in the state. The meeting is set for 1 PM June 5thin Frankfort.