Second Salix Error Prompts Added Review

Infrattini won his race despite not receiving shot, a mistake by KHRC officials.

After a second mistake involving the application or non-application of Salix at the current Keeneland meeting, Kentucky Horse Racing Commission veterinarians will add another step to the protocol as it attempts to eliminate such errors.

The current meet is the first for a new policy that prohibits private veterinarians from administering Salix, also known as Lasix, on race day. State vets apply the diuretic, which is used to prevent or lessen the severity of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage. The policy is in line with the model rule of the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

On Oct. 24, Z Thoroughbreds' Infrattini was supposed to receive Salix but state vets mistakenly did not administer the diuretic. Despite the error, Infrattini went on to win his race, posting a one-length victory in a 1 1/16-mile allowance/optional claiming race contested as the fourth race on the card. He suffered no immediate health issues racing without Salix.

Kentucky equine medical director Dr. Mary Scollay said confusion about the location of the horse led to a staff member believing Infrattini already had received a Salix shot. To prevent such mistakes in the future, Scollay said state vets will conduct a review to make sure every horse who is supposed to receive Salix has received it. Horses receive Salix shots four hours before the race and the review will be conducted five to 10 minutes before that deadline to make sure no horse has been overlooked.

On the first day of the meet, Oct. 5, a state vet administered Salix to Exothermic, who was not scheduled to receive it for his race. A transcription mistake by a state vet led to that error.

Despite the two errors, Scollay is confident that Kentucky can iron out the wrinkles in the new program. She noted that horsemen have supported the policy change and have been helpful in putting the new protocol in place. KHRC vets have carried out a similar policy with Standardbreds since 1988. She said she was thankful that neither horse suffered injury because of the mistakes.

"I think it will be fine," Scollay said. "I'm confident this is going to work."