Website Features Drug Reform Testimonials

Seth Hancock and D. Wayne Lukas among those supporting medication rule changes.

Claiborne Farm's Seth Hancock and trainer D. Wayne Lukas are among those featured in a series of video testimonials posted on the website. The advocacy website dedicated to the reform of medication rules was launched in April by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. 

In addition to Hancock and Lukas, the site features testimonials from owners Gary Biszantz, Bill Casner, Barry Irwin, and Peter Willmott, and Hall of Fame trainer LeRoy Jolley.

"Because of the liberty of having Lasix and drugs, I think that it's a lot easier to maybe just bypass some of the old horse truths of training and conditioning and diet and just say, 'Well, hell, he bled, let's give him a shot of Lasix and roll on'," Lukas says on the video.

Lukas also stresses the need for uniform medication and proper funding of drug-testing labs throughout the country, according to a release form TOBA and The Jockey Club.

Hancock recalled the training practices of longtime Claiborne Farm trainer Woody Stephens. "What I learned from Mr. Stephens was (that) you didn't need race-day medication," he said.

Also on the website are news, videos, scientific studies, and commentary in support of medication-free racing, according to the release. The website also includes a section to enable industry participants to pledge their support for the initiative by contacting state racing commissions and signing petitions regarding medication reform.

"There is growing support for medication reform, and we are grateful to all of the prominent individuals who have been willing to share their thoughts on camera for the website," said James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club.

"We can no longer ignore the fact that our sport is hampered by a public perception problem when horses compete under the influence of medication," said Dan Metzger, president of TOBA. "These testimonials, and all other information on this website, will bolster our medication reform efforts in a valuable manner."