AGSC Restates Desire for Salix Ban in Stakes

The statement came a day before the KHRC may vote on its own Salix-ban regulation.

In advance of an expected vote by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission June 13, the American Graded Stakes Committee reaffirmed its desire to ban all race-day medication in graded stakes for 2-year-olds.

The KHRC already has prepared a draft regulation that will be discussed and most likely voted upon. It calls for a three-year phase-out of race-day furosemide, also called Salix or Lasix, in graded and listed stakes from 2014-16.

Late in the day June 12, Marc Guilfoil, deputy executive director of the KHRC, confirmed the start date for the proposed ban was moved from Jan. 1, 2013, to Jan. 1, 2014, because of the expected lengthy regulatory approval process.

The regulation is in keeping with a KHRC proposal that would allow race-day administration of the anti-bleeding drug to all other racehorses. The Salix phase-out was discussed during a town hall meeting June 5 in the state capital.

The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, which oversees the AGCS, earlier this year backed away from mandating a race-day Salix ban in graded stakes for 2-year-olds. The organization in April said it still supports the ban but would prefer to work with regulators.

“The American Graded Stakes Committee remains as committed to the process and the need to eliminate race-day medication in all horses participating in 2-year-old graded stakes as we were last August,” AGSC chairman J. David Richardson said June 12. “We have worked within the regulatory framework to implement our proposed ban and will continue to do so until the ban is enacted.”

Richardson was recently elected to the Breeders’ Cup board of members for a four-year term. Breeders’ Cup still intends to ban race-day Salix in its 2-year-old World Championships stakes this fall.

A notice from the KHRC said the draft regulation will be discussed at the June 13 meeting, but it’s widely believed there will be a vote. The regulation must go through the legislative process, and several pro-Salix racing commissioners said they believe even if the KHRC passes it, there could be difficulty winning enough support from lawmakers.