Keeneland, other tracks, ban race day medication

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Keeneland is among a number of horse racing tracks across the country that will soon ban the use of the widely prescribed anti-bleeding medication, Lasix on race day.

After several horses died at Santa Anita, the race track and the sport have been in the spotlight.

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Santa Anita took a step to eliminate the use of the race day drug, Lasix.

Keeneland, along with about twenty other racing organizations are doing the same thing.

“We think we’ve come up with an alternative that will protect the integrity of the breed, the integrity of our racing, and also protect our horses appropriately,” said Bill Thomason, Keeneland President.



According to a staff surgeon at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, a horse has to be diagnosed to get Lasix.

The surgeon says it is the most effective and consistent drug to prevent bleeding, but he isn’t surprised by the new ruling since it has been debated for decades.

“I think coming down with a singular ruling is not really unreasonable at all,” said Alan Ruggles, Staff Surgeon.

The new rule will be that no racehorse will be allowed to take the drug within 24 hours of a race.

By 2020, two year old horses will have to follow this new rule and by 2021, the rule will extend to all horses.