As a Preventive Measure, Smarty Jones Will Run on Salix

As a Preventive Measure, Smarty Jones Will Run on Salix
Photo: Coady Photography
Smarty Jones will race with anti-bleeder medication for the first time in the Kentucky Derby.
In 1987, Demons Begone blitzed through a series of prep races at Oaklawn Park Arkansas before attempting the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), in which he went off as the the 5-2 favorite under Pat Day. Unfortunately, Demons Begone bled profusely and did not even finish the race in an incident that left an indelible impression on many, including John Servis.

Servis, who has trained Derby contender Smarty Jones to an undefeated record in six starts that include a sweep of Oaklawn Park's 3-year-old preps, is taking preventive measures to help guard against a similar fate for his 3-year-old son of Elusive Quality  .

Although Smarty Jones, who could win a $5-million bonus for the Someday Farm that owns him, has never been treated with Salix (formerly Lasix) nor has he bled in any of his previous starts, he will race with the anti-bleeder medication in the Derby.

"My horse has never bled, but because Kentucky lets you do that, it is a good preventive measure," Servis said during a National Thoroughbred Racing Association teleconference. "I would like to run him in the Derby without Lasix, but I would be heartbroken for the owners if he did not win the Derby and I could have done something about it."

Servis noted that he has had some horses who have experienced adverse effects when treated with the anti-bleeder medication for the first time. But he said Smarty Jones was administered Salix while training at Oaklawn Park and "it worked out fine. It will be a very small dose in the Derby."

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