By T. D. Thornton
Lasix will now be barred through at least 2021 in the vast majority of stakes races at California's three major commercial tracks–Santa Anita Park, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, and Golden Gate Fields.
The Lasix ban was part of a revised race-day medication agreement between the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) and the managements of those three tracks.
The California Horse Racing Board voted unanimously Dec. 17 to approve the terms of that medication agreement for the upcoming Santa Anita and Golden Gate meets. The Del Mar-specific commission approval will presumably come up for a vote closer to the start of that meet in July.
The agreement also includes language mandating a stand-down period for intra-articular injections, a rule that has been agreed to among the parties and approved by the CHRB since March 2019.
An exception to the no-Lasix rule was written into the agreement that will allow the drug's usage in California-bred stakes races for 4-year-olds and up, so long as that provision is agreed to in writing by the TOC and the track hosting the stakes race.
In a separate vote, the CHRB unanimously advanced a set of proposed rule amendments that deal with the requirements for horses being on and getting removed from the state veterinarian's restricted list.
The changes were largely administrative and were proposed for the purpose of bringing the CHRB's rules into alignment with Assembly Bill 1974, which was signed into law Sept. 29 to “protect and advance the health, safety, welfare, and aftercare of racehorses.”
That new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2021.
Pending a final vote after the public commentary period, one of the key provisions that will be changed in CHRB's related Rule 1688 will be that, “The official veterinarian may require any horse on the Veterinarian's List to undergo diagnostic procedures, including, but not limited to, diagnostic imaging, endoscopy, and biological sample analysis as part of their veterinary examination prior to being allowed to train or race…”
The revised version of Rule 1866 goes on to state that the owners of the horse desiring to get off the vet's list shall “pay all costs associated with the administration of diagnostic imaging.”