Two days after delaying a decision on a rule that would begin third-party administration of race-day furosemide, members of the California Horse Racing Board said they still support—in concept—of the proposal.
By a 5-2 vote Aug. 20, the CHRB decided to send a proposal for third-party administration of furosemide—commonly known as Salix or Lasix—back to its Medication and Track Safety Committee.
"We voted for further discussion because I believe that is the quickest and surest way to get third-party Lasix administration implemented," CHRB chairman Chuck Winner said. "If we were to adopt a rule now that is not clear with respect to a few key elements, the entire package might well be rejected during the required state reviewing process. That, in turn, would create a longer delay and we would be much further from implementation than we are by going through committee now, making necessary changes, and bringing this back to the board for a vote."
Richard Rosenberg, who was the most vocal CHRB member in support of sending the proposal back to committee, echoed Winner's sentiment.
"(I want the) technical and legal issues addressed, so that we can vote on the proposal with complete confidence," Rosenberg said. "From what I heard at the meeting, others feel the same as me. We want this done correctly. I did not hear even one commissioner express opposition to the concept of third-party Lasix administration."
CHRB executive director Rick Baedeker said a meeting of the Medication and Track Safety Committee will be scheduled as quickly as possible and the proposed regulatory amendment will be back before the board at the earliest opportunity.
Thoroughbred Owners of California president Joe Morris reaffirmed his organization's support of a move to third-party furosemide administration, as he did during Thursday's CHRB meeting.
"The (TOC) remains firmly committed behind the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and the Nation Uniform Medication guidelines," said Morris said. "Two of the four components to the program have been approved by the CHRB and the other two components should be passed by the end of this year. We will continue to work with the CHRB and the industry stakeholders to help make this happen. The third-party Lasix administration program was delayed on Thursday but still will be implemented. The California industry is still very much in favor of the RMTC efforts."