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On Salix, Kentucky Feeling Alone on Ledge
By Frank Angst and Ron Mitchell
With Breeders' Cup at least slowing implementation of its race-day Salix prohibition, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission could revisit its plans to ban use of the diuretic on race day.
In June 2012, the KHRC approved by a 7-5 vote an administrative regulation that would phase in a ban of race-day Salix (furosemide) in graded and listed stakes. The policy would prohibit use of race-day Salix in 2-year-old listed and graded stakes in 2014 in Kentucky and expand to all listed and graded stakes in the state by 2016.
When the rule was passed, several KHRC members noted they would like to see other states come on board and reserved the right to reexamine the policy if other major states didn't follow. As racing is regulated at the state level, commissioners were concerned Kentucky would be at a competitive disadvantage in attracting horses if other states did not put similar policies in place.
To date, no other state has taken action. Kentucky and Breeders' Cup have been the most progressive on the move to prohibit race-day medication—a policy supported by The Jockey Club—but this month the Breeders' Cup blinked. Its board voted not to expand a ban on race-day Salix to all of its championship races this year, as had been planned. Instead, Breeders' Cup will continue last year's policy of prohibiting race-day Salix only in its races for 2-year-olds....