KY State Vet Accidentally Administers Salix

Runner Exothermic finishes second after accidental dose Oct. 5 at Keeneland.

A Kentucky state veterinarian accidentally administered furosemide to a racehorse at Keeneland Oct. 5, the first day a new state rule was enacted that requires the anti-bleeding medication to be administered by Kentucky Horse Racing Commission vets.

The horse, 3-year-old Exothermic, had been entered to race without the drug commonly known as Salix or Lasix, but was administered the diuretic due to a transcription mistake made by a state vet. Racing for Richard Masson's Green Lantern Stables, he finished second in the seventh race of the day for trainer Rusty Arnold.

"He ran very, very well, and I think he would have run very, very well either way," said Arnold, who was bringing the previously unbeaten colt back off an eight-month layup. "It was an innocent mistake that they made, they're trying to do something that's good. We're sorry it happened to this horse. Were we a little upset by it? Yes, but we're not against their program at all."

Exothermic, a homebred by Empire Maker  out of the Caesour mare Iridescence, was previously unbeaten in two starts. Masson opposes  the use of the drug, but decided to run the horse rather than scratch.

"He was gracious enough to say, 'We'll go ahead,' and the trainer was cooperative," said John Ward, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. "The betting public was informed." 

Ward said the snafu resulted when assignments were readjusted due to a veterinarian requiring emergency gall bladder surgery the morning of the Lexington racetrack's fall meet opening day.

"There was a reassignment, and during the reassignment, there was a piece of information that got dropped," Ward said. "It was just human error and we'll revise it."

Gov. Steve Beshear issued the new regulation, which went into effect Oct. 5, in order to further regulate the use of raceday medication in racehorses.