Breeders' Cup Board Takes No Action on Salix

Directors discuss race-day furosemide policy but defer decision to later date.

The Breeders' Cup Board of Directors discussed the scheduled prohibition of race-day furosemide at this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships during a Feb. 22 meeting at Gulfstream Park.

No action was taken but the meeting will be continued at a later date.

For the first time last year, Breeders' Cup did not allow the raceday use of furosemide in its World Championship races for 2-year-olds. When the new rule was put in place last year, the prohibition of race-day furosemeide (also known as Salix or Lasix) was to expand to all Breeders' Cup World Championship races in 2013.

While that policy is still in place, board member Satish Sanan said the directors discussed Salix issues at the Feb. 22 meeting that lasted about three hours.

"It was discussed but no decisions were made," Sanan said.

Sanan said he arrived a bit late to the meeting but that a great deal of useful information on the Salix issue, as well as other topics, was exchanged.

A brief statement from Breeders' Cup acknowledged that a number of policy and organizational issues were discussed and confirmed the meeting will be re-convened at a later date.

Following the 2012 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park, Breeders' Cup officials said they still planned to move forward with a ban of race-day furosemide at the 2013 event despite about a 19% dip in handle in its five races for juveniles in 2012.

Breeders' Cup officials said they heard plenty of positives about the move and hoped longterm gains for the event, for instance consistency with other international racing events that do not allow race-day medication and attracting new fans, would outweigh current concerns.

Breeders' Cup acknowledged that some 2-year-olds suffered from exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage, including a scary incident at the barn for Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies' (gr. I) runner Spring in the Air, as documented by trainer Mark Casse. Salix is used to prevent or limit the severity of EIPH.