CHRB Panel Recommends Medication Rule Changes

Committee also recommends changes in claiming rules.

The California Horse Racing Board's Medication and Track Safety Committee has endorsed a proposal to have the anti-bleeder medication furosemide administered on race days by official veterinarians, association veterinarians, or non-practicing third-party veterinarians rather than a trainer's private vet.

According to a CHRB release, the committee that met for two hours Aug. 24 also discussed alternate versions of the regulation dealing with the voiding of claims. One version discussed would place greater responsibility on the official and association veterinarians to determine whether an injured horse is likely to ever race again, the CHRB said, with the second version broadening the impact of the regulation by including all horses that are placed on the veterinarian's list for being lame or unsound.

Dr. Rick Arthur, the CHRB's medical director, told the committee there is a national movement to tighten the procedure for race-day administration of furosemide and the resulting CHRB committee recommendation is based on model rules governing race-day bleeder medications recently adopted by the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

According to the proposed regulation, Salix (formerly marketed under the name Lasix) would be the only authorized bleeder medication, and veterinarians with a private practice at the track would no longer be allowed to administer any medication on race day. During the public meeting held by committee chair Bo Derek and commissioner Chuck Winner, Arthur said the change in veterinary administration of Salix would result in savings to owners.

Also, the committee will recommend approval of a request by the Breeders' Cup to limit authorized bleeder medications to furosemide administered only by CHRB licensed veterinarians approved by the Breeders' Cup and who are not otherwise attending horses competing in the Nov. 2-3 World Championships at Santa Anita.

The committee also discussed possible amendments to the CHRB's rule adopted last year regarding the voiding of a claim when the horse being claimed suffers a fatality during the race or before it is returned to be unsaddled.

The committee asked Arthur to help draft proposed changes to allow for the voiding of the claim if the horse is placed on the veterinarian's list for being lame or unsound, according to the CHRB release. The CHRB said the decision to place a horse on the list is most often made immediately after the race or shortly thereafter.

Arthur said claims on 96 Thoroughbreds and 36 Quarter Horses would have been impacted statewide had the proposal under discussion been included in the claiming rule that went into effect last year. He said either of two proposed versions discussed by the committee would have voided the recent claims of the horses Elivette and Temerity.

According to the Daily Racing Form, Temerity was vanned off the track during a race at Del Mar and was later euthanized. Under the CHRB's claiming rule, the $10,000 claim of the horse by Kirk Robison and trainer Peter Miller was allowed to stand; had Temerity been euthanized on the racetrack, the claim would have been voided. The DRF reported that the filly Elivette suffered sesamoid injuries during the running of an Aug. 3 race in which she was claimed for $12,500; after being transported to new trainer Doug O'Neill's stable it was determined that she could not be saved.