State to phase out race day Lasix at Kentucky horse racing tracks

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky on Monday became the first state to phaseout race-day usage of Lasix at thoroughbred racetracks.

Keeneland, Churchill Downs, Turfway Park, Ellis Park and Kentucky Downs announced on Tuesday their support of medication reforms adopted by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

Lasix is an anti-bleeding medication used by veterinarians to prevent respiratory bleeding in horses running at high speed. Blood entering the lungs during high physical activity can cause a pulmonary hemorrhage and result in death.

Beginning in 2020, the use of Lasix will be banned in Kentucky on race day for 2-year olds; beginning in 2021, the use of Lasix we be eliminated in graded stakes races held at Kentucky race tracks.

“The welfare of our human and equine athletes is the sport’s top priority, and we thank the KHRC for making these reforms a reality,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “These changes provide Kentucky racing with the tools to make our facilities safer and to protect the integrity and longevity of a sport we love so much.”

The KHRC also approved a measure that requires 14 days of medical records be presented at the time a horse is entered into a race in Kentucky. Trainers must maintain accurate records of any treatment administered to their horses, and all medical records will be transferred to each subsequent owner and trainer.

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